There is no cable television in our house. It’s not a money thing; it’s a marketing thing. I do my best to limit the marketing aimed at children that comes into my house. Sure, it’s sometimes annoying to wait until a day after a show airs to watch it on Hulu Plus. The lack of commercials aimed at children that end up showing up on our television screen absolutely make up for that annoyance.
This infogaphic created by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation reinforces my decision. It shows the tactics that McDonalds and Burger King use to entice children to want to walk through their doors.
It’s interesting when the infographic breaks down the way the companies market to children as opposed to how they market to adults. It makes it clear that these companies are specifically targeting children, hoping to get them to convince their parents to take them for a burger and fries with a side of movie tie-in toys.
This isn’t unexpected. In fact, when I decided many years ago to stop allowing my children to get the kids meals with toys when we went for fast food years ago, their desire for fast food went down. I hadn’t stopped taking them for fast food yet, but when I eventually did cut out the fast food, it wasn’t that difficult because a lot of its allure had faded.
Statistics like the ones in this infographic help me remember how vulnerable my children are to advertising. It’s almost impossible to shield them from it completely, but knowing how pervasive marketing aimed at children is reminds me to continue making choices to help lessen its impact on them.
How would you suggest we lessen the impact of this type of marketing to children?