Gary and I talked about commercials last night. I had heard a report earlier about the impact of fast food commercials on young children. Depressing to think about how many children eat fast food and how often they eat it, but we won’t go there. What struck me as significant was the fact that Gary and I both clearly remember a car lot commercial from our youth. It was a local ad. It was simple. It was not very creative. Yet both of us can recite it and visualize it. Which leads me to wonder if today’s commercials have the same impact on children. Gary says “no”, and I tend to agree with him. Young children today see so many thousands of commercials that I doubt any one could stay in their little brains for fifty years!
What is alarming, however, is the immediate impact of commercials. Like everything else in our society, commercials encourage children to demand what they want right now. Everything is about instant gratification. And parents interviewed for the report I saw admitted that they take their children to a fast food eating place (I refuse to call them restaurants) at least once a week.
I am also bothered lately by the content of a few commercials. The latest Jack commercial is actually offensive. I don’t understand why a fast food commercial needs to make a reference to Viagra!! Of course their commercials have always been stupid. I don’t know who creates them, but he needs help.
It has long been my policy to not allow children in my classroom to discuss television shows, movies, or music. I am appalled by what most of them watch and listen to! Now I have new concerns about commercials. Of course they don’t discuss them, they just respond to them. That is very evident right now because they are starting to tell me what they want for Christmas. Believe me, it isn’t their two front teeth!! And most of the items they request are followed by a brand name or gadget number. Sad.
Just one more thing this old-fashioned grandma thinks about.