The Adverse Affect Of Advertisements

By Dev Karan Sindwani | Student of Network Capital School
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Advertising is meant to influence the minds of the target group that should ultimately result in a sale for the client. However, sometimes, it can raise many questions when targeted for children. On an average the advertising industry spends $12 billion per year on ads targeted to children, bombarding young audiences with persuasive messages through media such as television or internet Now, children are reckoned to be a major ‘buying force’ by advertiser, which has both positive and negative effects to society.

Advertisements are made to get people to buy the product they are displaying and for other people to notice the company or product being displayed. The first prime motive of advertising is to attract attention. With children, the messages need to be conveyed in a different manner. Goods are particularly packaged in order to appeal to the younger generation. Children today, are more specific about their needs and wants.

Every day , on an average a person sees 3,000-5,000 advertisements a day . Those advertisements are seen on shirts, sneakers, magazines, newspapers, bumper stickers, billboards, movies, taxi cabs, people, or even you yourself can be a walking advertisement. The best way to persuade the consumer to stick to the product of the particular brand, when numerous choices are provided to him/her in the market, is attractive advertisement. Brand name such as Abercrombie, Hollister, and American Eagle, always appear on billboards with the right appealing advertisement so that children would want to buy it. Brands depends on the image- the image they promote and the image the consumer believes they will project For many teens can announce membership in a particular group, value systems, personality and personal style . If a child doesn’t have a certain style to fit in a social group or is wearing an “unpopular shirt”, sometimes he or she isn’t expected into that group based just on their apparel.

There are many positive effects that advertising influences over children. First, Advertising makes the children aware of the new products available in the market. It increases their knowledge about the latest innovations, in the field of technology as well as otherwise. Also, convincing ads, which center around healthy food products, can help improve the diet of a child, if they are attractive enough. Ads for breakfast cereal are great in telling the consumers about the various nutrients, iron, folic acid, and its importance. Also, any bottled water brands include the fact that drinking eight glasses of water a day is healthy for your body.
However, advertising can also have a negative influence over young minds if parents are not really careful and do not teach their children about the importance of money. In many cases, children tend to misinterpret the messages conveyed through the advertisement. They end up having wrong notions about many issues. Advertising influences the minds of children, which create a need to own that particular product being, advertised. Glossy images on the magazines or billboards or flashy advertisements on television only create the urge for impulsive buying. Parents who cannot deal with the rising demands or temper tantrums only tend to give in to the demands of their children. Children then get used to a certain kind of lifestyle, which is shown on the television or through various media This only creates a very wrong impression on their young minds making them lose the ability to live a life without relying on brand-labeled joys. The power of advertising thus, cannot be ignored. A child may prefer only a specific pair of branded jeans as compared to other clothing available in stores. He/she may want to live the life that is projected in the advertisements. The child may dictate to his/her parents about personal preferences in clothing, food, toys, etc.

Negative effects of advertising have on children: getting spoiled, demand the newest products or the best clothes out there, and losing the knowledge of the value of one dollar or Rupee for example. Advertising is a massive, multi-million dollar project that’s having an enormous impact on child development. The sheer volume of advertising is growing rapidly and invading new areas of childhood, like our schools. The result is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also something id calls “narcissistic wounding” of children. Thanks to advertising, children have become convinced that they’re inferior if they don’t have an endless array of new products. 

Well, with these kinds of effects of advertising, one wonders who is to be blamed in this whole issue. Parents play a major role in this case. They need to monitor what influences the minds of children. Parents also need to be firm with children whenever their demands increase. Children need to be told gently that a ‘no’ cannot be converted into a ‘yes’ with tears or brawls! Parents also need to instill good habits and help children to differentiate between right and wrong. And the sooner it’s told, the better it would be for the child and subsequently parents as well. Advertisers on the other hand, can also try to put their message across creatively and target the entire family rather than just children. This will ensure even parents stay within the loop and can monitor the demands of the children. With a balanced approach, the negative effects of advertising can surely be curbed to a great extent. To change the effects on children-their want for unhealthy fast food, the insistence on having the latest toys, and a growing dependability on material items – there are thoughts of creating laws to prohibit advertising marketed towards children. Whether these laws will ever be enforced is the question.

Advertising is a pervasive influence on children and adolescents. Young people view more than 40 000 ads per year on television alone and increasingly are being exposed to advertising on the Internet, in magazines, and in schools This exposure may contribute significantly to childhood and adolescent obesity, poor nutrition, and cigarette and alcohol use. Media education has been shown to be effective in mitigating some of the negative effects of advertising on children and adolescents. Whether they are positive or negative effects on the child, advertisers will always try to get the attention of the children. The economy always benefits from their most wanted consumer of the products: children and young teens, therefore advertising will always have an effect on children.

Dev was a part of the Network Capital Summer School.

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