Inspired by the kinds of ads we talked about in class (specifically the one that Zain made a post about), I remembered reading about one particular advertisement that has stuck with me ever since I first heard about it sometime last year. I dug around to find it, and found an article that discusses it here. Below is a video showing the ad itself:

I think the article makes a great point: how long will it be before advertisers use this same kind of technology to start targeting children as consumers rather than use this kind of media for a good cause? This also relates back to the Adidas ad we watched in class, and the use of activism and “good” work to promote products that often are completely unrelated to the cause involved.

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6 responses »

  1. chloekissane says:

    I think advertisers have already started to target children as consumers in a few ways. Although it is not technology savvy, a pizza joint near my house has many candy and toy machines when you walk into the store. However, these machines are placed so they are at children’s eye level instead of adult’s eye level. This causes children to immediately see products and beg their parents to give them some money. Although this technique is on a much less serious scale of the Anwar Foundation’s “Only for Children”, it is aware of the children’s height and eye level to sell the product.

  2. lagray700 says:

    This also brings up the question- should companies who’s main objective is to sell things to us even be trying to send out “activist-like” or messages for social change? If they do send them out- are we supposed to support/advertise their messages? If we do, is that irresponsible?

  3. amihk says:

    I think the way that they made this poster for child abuse is very interesting and smart but at the same time like you said, it makes me worry of companies using this way of “advertisement excluding the adults” making children into the world of capitalism from their early ages.

  4. jivikar says:

    I really enjoyed watching the ad and am glad this it is being used for good. From a marketing perspective, I don’t see such ads being becoming too much of a problem in terms of targeting children exclusively, since, although the primary audience of a toy company may be children, for example, adults are still the main spenders and so any ad that targets children would have to provide arguments that would appeal to adults too, if kids are to convince their parents to consumer more. The most effective ads are those that empathically show and play on the idea that [insert product e.g toys] brings people together, and these by definition have to appeal to a variety of genders / demographics / generations.

  5. taliat says:

    As some of the other people commenting have mentioned, this sort of technique is already common practice in many places (though admittedly through less high-tech means) — for example, it is known practice that supermarkets will put sugary cereals on the eye level of children, in the hopes that a child will grab one and try to persuade a parent towards purchasing. On an unrelated (and somewhat cynical) note, I’m not sure how realistic I think it is that a small child experiencing abuse would actually remember the number in question and feel comfortable/safe calling (which some of the commenters on the article you posted also raised), but I hope it has helped some children.

  6. jessicarice13 says:

    I think its clear that, as technology advances, the advertising industry will only get better at targeting exactly who they are trying to market towards. The fact that Google can use our search and browsing history to “match” the ads it shows to what it thinks we are interested in is a prime example of this “narrowing” of the audience of a marketing campaign. Of course others will use some of this same technology in attempts to make positive change instead of to sell a product but, at the end of the day, people who work in marketing are being paid to advertise a product not to as many people as possible, but to as many potential consumers as possible.

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