Have you noticed a not-so-subtle change in marketing strategy lately? Of course marketers are still aggressively touting their wares, but the difference is there's now a really bald-faced, no-holds-barred focus on children, not their parents.
I think back a little wryly on my own childhood. I never really worried about things very much, let alone tried to influence my parents into buying stuff for me. It's not that we had no money, it's more that we kept so busy doing other things that it was never an issue.
And at Christmas time we all had the excitement of putting a pillow case on our beds, and hoping during the night we’d see it miraculously fill with small gifts to unwrap. They weren’t ever anything really expensive, but it was so exciting. We never did see who filled them...
It's all to do with money and things of course. And as Christmas approaches, marketing swings into top gear. It's impossible to see anything on TV that isn't aimed at being trendy and must have for children to fit in with their peers. Right now anything at all that relates to a glitzy resuscitated Star Wars is in vogue.
George Lucas probably had no idea his writing would change the ideas and worm into the plastic card wallets of so many! It's estimated more than 14 billion Star Wars action figures have been sold since the 1970’s. That's about the same time marketers realized children were worth $700 billion to their industry.
The marketing is aggressive and persistent.The advertising grows ever more violent, the content all about the battle for supremacy in a virtual world, feeding the cravings of both children and their parents for the thrill of ever more battles.
Precocious little people figure predominantly in most advertising now. And marketers have figured out they watch a lot of adult shows too. The boundaries between adult and child have become blurred. Children are the influencers in parental buying decisions, including vehicles and appliances. That's why on board video screens are one of the main features parents look at now.
Recently I was amazed to hear of a five-year-old’s list for Santa of the presents he wanted.
- A big Lego set
- A mountain bike
- A computer
Whatever happened to enjoying family, and small gifts?
Giving is receiving in the heart...
And it's something many of us could do. Maybe that's how we could bring understanding of giving to children.