Advertising to kids is everywhere, that is something we all know. But, there is a lot about advertising to kids you probably don’t know. And, you absolutely need to know these things. Advertising to kids has a lot of known effects on them, and every parent should understand them.

Kids make up a massive part of the world’s advertisement demographic. Kids watch TV and play online. They are out and about going to and from school all the time. So, it makes sense as to why so many advertisements are geared toward kids even if the product their pushing is exclusively for adults. Advertising to children is a fascinating field of study.

However, the world behind the commercial is full of intrigue. Here are ten facts you did not know about advertising to kids.

10 Things You Should Know about Advertising to Kids

1. Big Tobacco Still Advertises to the Under-Aged

The Massive Settlement Agreement of 1998 prohibited big tobacco from marketing to kids either directly or indirectly. However, many tobacco companies take a loopholed advantage. They are advertising their various soda-flavored cigarettes in magazines commonly ready by teens and tweens.

No, these magazines are not directly written for children. However, the ads are pretty clearly equating tobacco with candy. Though it’s still illegal for them to be this visible, these ads appeared in magazines as recently as 2013.

2. Car Companies Advertise to Kids

One study suggests that 60% of all teens and tweens have a significant influence over which car their parents buy. That is why so many car commercials target kids either directly or indirectly. They do this in their commercials, slogans, logos, print ads, and more.

One famous example of car companies advertising to kids is Mazda’s Zoom, Zoom slogan. This one is directly advertising to kids as it sounds like a child playing with a toy car.

3. Food Advertisements Are Connected With Eating Disorders

We’ve all seen fast food advertisements that portray scantily clad women with unrealistic body types eating burgers, chicken, or other food items. Many people are outraged by how these ads objectify women. But the damage might be far more than the obvious issues of sexism.

Research indicates that the presence of food advertisements objectifying women leads to body image problems and even eating disorders in teen girls.

4. Schools Are Marketing Meccas for Advertisers

Advertising in school is a major money making business. Possibilities go from ads slipped into programs promoting companies that sponsor the school, inviting representatives who are allowed to set up booths and talk to kids directly.

So companies are always advertising to kids in school. Some schools are even allowing companies to place ads on their walls, in their bathroom stalls, and more.

5. Ads Can Cause Conflict Between Parents and Teens

Researchers conducted a study on teens and their parents which concluded that many conflicts between parents and their teens were a result from a parent denying a child a specific brand.

Children get so exposed to messages about brands,  some of which they’ve never tried. So their loyalty becomes a matter of heated contention.

6. Companies Use Kids as Advertisements

A lot of stores actually use kids as advertisements by offering exclusive sales and discounts to like their page on social media. Other companies offer discounts for kids who post pictures of themselves wearing or using merchandise or products online.

This kind of advertising to kids causes their friends to feel a personal connection with the brand or company. It also makes the brand or business appear popular and desirable. This way children will feel motivated to buy those brands to fit in with their peers.

7. Social Media Might Expose Kids to Inappropriate Advertisements

Social media is an excellent tool for children to stay connected with family and friends. However, we all know that social media can be dangerous if kids aren’t careful with what they share and who they share it with. What you might not know is that advertisements on social media can be another kind of danger.

One survey suggests that %30 of teens see ads on social media that are highly inappropriate for their age. Social networking websites do not always sponsor these inappropriate ads. Sometimes, people post ads they find online for their friends to see.

8. Food Ads Contribute to Childhood Obesity

Research suggests that food advertisements promoting food high in sugar, fat, and sodium targeted toward kids contribute to the United State’s childhood obesity rates.

There are ads portraying children eating kid’s meals, playing with toys, and slurping down and cold soda. These have an enormous impact on food preference and requests in children. These ads may not put the food in children’s mouths. But they do play a significant role in a child’s desire for particular kinds of food.

9. Ads Influence a Kid’s Racial Identity, and Racial Perceptions

One study suggests that the media portrays people of Caucasian and Asian descent in positive and significant roles. Meanwhile, Latinos, African Americans are more commonly portrayed in less important roles and less positively. The study concluded that these advertisements have a considerable impact on the development of a child’s racial identity. They also affect their perceptions of people of other races.

These ads may contribute to stereotypes, racism, prejudice, or cultural insensitivity. Furthermore, they may contribute to a negative self-image, and harm a child’s racial identity.

10. Exposure to Alcohol Ads Increases Underage Drinking

Parents often worry about their child caving into peer pressure from their friends. But studies indicate that peer pressure might not be the only tempter. One study, in particular, suggests that kids who get exposed to high levels of alcohol advertisements are more likely to take part in underage drinking. More than that, the study concluded that teens influenced by alcohol ads are more likely to get into fights with their parents and peers, miss school, and experience other alcohol related issues.

Changing the Channel

Advertisements aren’t all bad. Some inform us of technology. Others tell us of charitable organizations and how we can help. Some are pleasant reminders of ways we could better our lives. However, it is important to understand that advertisement plays a significant part in shaping our children’s attitudes.

Do you know any other facts about advertising to kids? List them in the comments below.

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