My thoughts on marketing towards children

Just a exerpt from a letter I wrote to my grandma who lives in CA who sent Sam a Fiver for Easter…

First off. Thank you. The V-Day money and the Easter money are going to (eventually) come in handy when we move. Sam hasn’t spent his money yet, but we’re going to Target for some grocery shopping tomorrow, so I’m sure he’ll pick out a special toy. Lately his favorites have been Bob the Builder vehicles, or “Bobby Toys”.  They’re pretty cool, I must say, but they are so expensive and we just aren’t one of those families that collect every figure from a TV show. I mean, he doesn’t even watch the dang show on TV because we don’t have cable – he gets it from the library. (I said last time that my friends are hippy parents, but I never excluded myself…) He also likes the Thomas trains, but he doesn’t have much of  a track for that stuff. He’s got the wooden tracks, but those stupid Thomas trains don’t fit on the wooden tracks. I swear. The marketing. It makes me absolutely INFURIATED when I let Sam watch a DVD or PBS or something and here they are – advertising to my 2 year old! I could scream at the TV. Today we went to buy some cereal and already (already!!!) he’s telling me he wants the “Munty surry, Mommy!” or monkey cereal, in English. Can you believe that? He wants fruit loops now because of the damn monkey.  Ok, maybe it makes me madder on paper than it actually does in the store, but it does seem pretty ridiculous. I read a study that says when kids ask for something just 7 times parents will give in. ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I think maybe I’m just the meanest mom ever. But, yes. He gets whatever he wants with his Easter money from you. He was so very, very excited to put it into his piggy bank and I’m sure he’ll be even more excited to pull it out and keep in his pocket until he finds the perfect toy.  I did complain the other day about a Hot Wheels car I bought for him. They’re 99 cents and Sam usually gets one when we do groceries every Wednesday so that while I shop he’s content and looks forward to it, etc., so I usually just let him pick the one he wants, open it, and then have them ring up the box and throw it away. I never in a million years realized that I should be monitoring those, too. Can you believe that on his toy car there was a picture of… wait for it… A PIN-UP GIRL!!! Yep! Bra strap hanging over her shoulder and everything. I almost screamed. So I called the company and they sent me a free voucher. Maybe Sam will be lucky and I’ll use that tomorrow, too, but most likely I’ll save it. I’m mean that way.

…and I did save the voucher. For next week. 🙂 What I should do is boycott them forever, but all that would do is make my little man sad. And yeah, he picked out a Bobby toy…

Here’s the biggest pic I could find of the car. Right hand corner – red blip – this is how I missed it in the first place…



5 Responses

  1. The marketing thing only gets worse as they get older. We are battling that right now with our 3 1/2 year old. Thanks for your sympathy and for stopping by my site. I’ve been perusing yours a bit and enjoying. God’s blessings as you seek to adopt. We are also planning on adopting once we move to China.

  2. I completely agree with you on the commercialism thing!! Our oldest daughter always wanted the ‘latest’ thing she’d see at the store, but then, as she got older and our family grew, she did grow out of it. And, I think she learned that everything gets old so quick, and always breaks!! Now…my kids think it’s silly when they see other kids their ages getting a lot of ‘toys’ and gadgets. (NOT my 3 yr. old though!! He still tries to take home the Thomas train from the library EVERY time we go!!) I love how you said all that!!! I couldn’t have said it better myself!

  3. I’m a mean mommy too. I – having worked a goodly decade in retail, most of it in management, which meant really hawking my company’s wares so I’d have a JOB haha – am a horrid person who sits her children down at a certain age and explains to them exactly why these companies market to children. Because they want kids to beg, borrow, and steal from mommy and daddy to get toys.

    But do those companies care if mommy and daddy and kids have enough money for food? Do they care if buying those toys means you can’t go to the zoo because you spent all your money on toys? Do they care if you get in trouble *wink nudge nudge* for asking for their products all the time and mommy and daddy get sick of hearing it and banish you to your room or tell you you’ve already got too many toys and since you’re not grateful for what you have, it’s time to GIVE AWAY half the toys you have to children who don’t have *any* toys?


    Yes, my girls already believe that toy marketers are evil incarnate. Because if one spends all one’s money on Polly Pockets, one can’t go to the zoo or buy books. So one should buy *one* Polly Pocket, on sale, with a coupon, and be happy with it. And if one really can’t resist buying another, it is because one wants one’s friend to have it desperately for her birthday.

    Now that kind of shopping I’ll allow. Sometimes. 😉

  4. Today in wimberley the fourth graders took a trip to see “Tony” the tiger at the local brookshire brothers. He was giving away bowls and hats. THIS WAS A FIELD TRIP, can you even beleive this???

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