Tuesday, July 21, 2009

As Seen on TV

My child is extremely brand aware. Extremely. He is a marketer's dream - a true product of a modern society inundated with advertising. He chalks cityscapes on the driveway for his matchbox cars filled with Best Buys, Dairy Queens, Targets, and McDonalds. He draws marker and crayon pictures of company brand logos -- in fact, I recently found a rather charming depiction of the money you could be saving with Geico.

I hate this!! He should be daydreaming of super heroes and race cars, not the mass subsidiaries of Corporate America!

A while back, I remember learning that it is illegal to directly advertise to children 6 and under. Which explains why Noggin, Playhouse Disney and Nick Jr. do not have commercials. Happily, I contained his television-watching to these stations to cut down on the all-consuming brand awareness. However, five year olds seem to hit this point where they are not babies anymore and lose all interest in "baby shows". All of a sudden, he wants to watch Suite Life with Zack & Cody on the Disney Channel and the ever-delightful SpongeBob on Nickelodeon... All of which come with those obnoxious "As Seen on TV" five-minute commercials.

A few weeks back, I hear him calling me into my bedroom. I run in and he points to the TV and he says, "Mommy! Mommy! That thing on TV will grow tomatoes upside down! And there's the number you call to order it!"

Great. My five year old is brainwashed by the "Topsy-Turvey" tomato-growing wonder. This is the power of advertising, folks. Charlie won't even EAT a tomato. If only they had big budget commercials with celebrities and jingles aimed at getting kids to eat vegetables... now that's a commercial I could go for.
If that were not enough, I sent him back to his bathroom yesterday to brush his teeth before camp. He comes running back to the kitchen with his toothbrush in one hand and an almost completely empty tube of SpongeBob toothpaste in the other.

"Mom! I tried to get the last bit of toothpaste out, but it's stuck! If only I had a Touch n' Brush, then I could get out the bottom drop of the toothpaste and brush my teeth!!"

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