Research Paper: Advertisements Around Dolls That Promote Consumerism

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¶ … Advertising Is to Make the Consumer Pathologically Inclined to Consume Your Product

As such, marketers use all means possible to get products and services flowing in the market. While marketing their brands, manufacturers of children toys use the mass media to manipulate children to want their products. Pervasive advertising has a significant influence since it is protected under the auspices of free speech. This study focuses on various commercials marketing Monster High, Bratz, and Barbie dolls. The goal is to identify the tactics that that helped child consumerism and the emergence of a material culture along.

Material Culture

Emerging studies have linked a material culture of consumption to children and youth in the modern age. Echoing the same, social psychologists reveal that this material culture reveal a buy-and-consume modality amongst children. A wide range of psychological studies have focused in the United States of America with special focus on how advertising drives consumerism and material culture so that children, adolescents and young adults are currently experiencing materialism in their consumer trends with an unprecedented levels of involvement. It is of the essence, therefore, to study the impact of materialism and consumerism on identity formation and human development. The goal is to evaluate and assess how such consumerism patterns influence child psychology.

Studies have proved that through persistent advertising in the mainstream media, children are presently receiving a recurrent onslaught of material messages urging them to procure various products. Child psychologists reckon that children are often susceptible during the tender age in a way that propagates a pervasive purchasing behaviour and patterns of consumption that influence identity and self-image. In the United States consumerism and spending capacity practically defines childhood as a developmental phase, according to paediatricians and child psychologists; the material culture has traversed childhood, adolescence and youth. Marketers have developed subtle advertising techniques to target girls by cultivating an inherent need to play with dolls, for instance. The psychology behind the pervasive advertising via television, radio and magazines is to cultivate the need to impose a feminine ideal through a whole line of products deemed appropriate for girls. Mounting evidence now suggests that consumerism amongst children is gradually taking form amongst children so that some suffer from serious physical, social and emotional deficits directly linked to a material culture

The connection between consumerism and youth culture is pervasively growing stronger every day. In the contemporary setting, therefore, children are virtually unable to distinguish wants from needs; the prevalent political economy of mass media advertising causes children to develop a fetish for toys such as dolls, for instance. This particular demographic have developed the tendency to identify with certain products that they consume. The buying power of this demographic increases rapidly so that children have an unprecedented buying power presently than ever before. Likewise, psychologists reckon that more and more children, adolescents and youth have become more gullible and confused in light of the creeping capitalist approach towards advertising as they media preys upon them capitalizing on their emotional vulnerability and the desire for children to become socially relevant. There are rising concerns about the pervasive materialism and consumerism in the present capitalist culture

The buying power of the youth today has currently reached a record high. Children seem to have more disposable income as baby boomers start to retire. Most middle class parents have sufficient money to grant a significant fraction to their offspring in form of allowances. A revealed by various surveys on the spending patterns during childhood and early adolescents, most of them spend a huge chunk of their disposable income on conventional and typical items such as toys making them the demographic with an overwhelming purchasing power

The picture of the girl-child playing with dolls is one of the most conspicuously familiar images during childhood. For this reason, playing with dolls emerges as a developmental phase in early childhood through to adolescence. Recently, child psychologists have engaged in a series of debates in an attempt to establish the role of this interaction while shaping the emergence of personal identity, individual attitudes and personal perception.

In a broader context, the study of child developmental psychology extends to cover the contemporary United States family set-up where the conventional parent(s) usually have just one child. While growing up, children are in contact with fewer or no siblings with whom they can interact and as a result, they turn to this form of synthetic bonding with inanimate things. Social psychologists reckon that interaction between children and dolls, in the recent world, plays a very fundamental psychological role. Under the auspices of the American Paediatric Association, Doeschka J. Anschutz and Rutger C.M.E. Engels undertook a survey dubbed The Effects of Playing with Thin Dolls on Body Image and Food Intake in Young Girls. The projected findings from this survey directly linked toys -- dolls, in particular -- to the emergence of personality traits, behavioural inclination, identity, attitudes as well as prejudices and cognitive biases in preference, taste and body image

. The goal of the survey was to establish whether certain types of dolls trigger the development of material attitudes that would probably foster egocentrism. Some of the research questions raised related to the scientific aspects of playing with toys

Advertising, Psychology and Cultural Materialism

The cardinal rule of advertising is to make the consumer pathologically inclined to consume your product. As such, marketers use all means possible to get products and services flowing in the market. In the modern-day capitalist economy, a free market enterprise is in place. Within the framework of market liberalization in a free market economy, products and services circulate the market freely; there are no barriers to free trade. The pressure to compete while marketing products and services has prompted companies to invest heavily in advertising. As many contemporary scholars espouse, children represent a very vital demographic in the modern political economy since besides their very own purchasing power, which is significantly huge, children have the ability to influence the buying decisions of their parents by pestering and nagging them

While marketing their brands, manufacturers of children toys use the mass media to manipulate children to want their products. Pervasive advertising has a significant influence since it is protected under the auspices of free speech. Monster High dolls, Bratz dolls, and Barbie dolls are amongst the most popular toys for girls. A critical look at the ads for Monster High Dolls, for instance, indicates the magnitude of power and influence that advertising has on consumerism. Sampling one television ad - Twiins -- retrieved from You Tube, one would notice the subtle design specially premeditated to cultivate a pathological need in children to acquire one of those. According to child psychologist Annabel Hathaway of the University of Stanford, the goal of the manufacturer is to target children with the knowledge that they spend most of their hours watching television. These ads cultivate the notion that having one of those dolls is a very fashionable trend. Likewise, they use popular personalities such as Hollywood celebrities to endorse the thought that it is 'cool' to play with the dolls

Monster High has hired qualified psychologists to advise them on how to understand the psychology of children making it easier to manipulate them by creating a show of class that does not exist. They count on children's 'pester power' to influence the decision of their parents to purchase their brand. Marketing to children thus relies on creating pester power through advertising; this has become a very influential trend in the contemporary media

. A recent inquiry into the issue of pervasive advertising and its influence in consumerism and cultural materialism indicates that through persistent nagging, parents succumb to the will of providing the best for their children

Manufacturers use different marketing tactics while advertising their products. For instance, Barbie uses buzz / street marketing to create some fuss about a given product in a way that all children want to procure one of their products. For instance, in one of their ads, they used popular kids in a given neighbourhood to help endorse the Barbie Girl doll. These popular children endorse the notion that being 'cool' involves having that particular product. Barbie capitalizes on the cultural superficiality of the American society to help maximize their sales. In a recent TV commercial to boost the Bambola doll, Barbie used animation depicting teen sensational band One Direction along with the soundtrack of their debut runaway success 'What Makes You Beautiful.' This ad created a lot of buzz on this new product mostly during the road shows. With advice from economic experts and market strategists, Barbie uses such celebrities and social trendsetters to help capture the elusive and perceptive teen market. The most striking attribute of the teen market, as mentioned above, is its savvy and elusive nature; in an attempt to capture and retain this market, it is essential to be in touch with the latest trends in fashion and popular culture. The best place to keep in touch with… [END OF PREVIEW]

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