Thursday, 30 September 2010

Advertising and our Children

As you've probably noticed over the past few weeks, there are lots of toy adverts finding there way on to our TV screens. We are now well in to what is known by the advertising peeps as 'the golden quarter.' Obviously it's the busiest time of year for retailers, and as we start to approach Christmas there's Ben 10, Thomas the Tank Engine, Baby Annabel - all sorts of delightful goodies to entice our little ones.

Imagine my surprise then, when mister A just came running in and said "Mummy, mummy, we've got Ariel haven't we. I've just seen it on the TV - it's Ariel Actilift."

What the hell is going on? Why is my son more interested in what we are using to wash our clothes with than what he wants for Christmas!?

It's not the first time this has happened either. Last week he stunned me when that Actimel laughing baby ad came on - "Mummy", he said "Healthy babies are happy babies." I looked to the TV and one minute later that was the strap line being delivered by the narrator. I just looked at him.

Now I can assure you, Mister A does not spend hours perched in front of the TV. It seems though that the little time he is watching, he is completely absorbed by the ads aimed at the parents rather than those toy ads that we all hate at this time of year!

So what's going on? Should I see this as a good thing - my son clearly has some kind of photographic memory or is this just a sign of the times? Like many other 3 and a half year olds, he knows all the major brand logos by sight, Tesco's, McDonalds, Lego and obviously now Ariel(?!) but he is really clever with everthing else too. He can count higher than 50 and he knows the alphabet - so is this just another form of learning? What do you think?

I shouldn't really complain, after all the sooner he learns to wash his own clothes, the better!


  1. So funny.
    My two sit in the back of the car humming 'Moonpig dot com' to themselves so take from that what you will!
    Nothing to do with advertising, but my 5 year old asked how long does she have to wait until she's allowed to do the vacuuming . . .

  2. Tara I am so mad with you! I am now sat singing the MoonPig theme tune!!

    I wonder if the ad companies know what they are doing to our children!

  3. Well Lyla is only 8 months old and is transfixed by Go Compare, We Buy Any Car and Meercats! All the really annoying ones!!

  4. My Nipper's the same (though that could be more to do with his Asperger's). He sings the jingle from the breakfast show on our local radio station. Luckily we've avoided too much from the telly so far.