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  • Subject area(s): Marketing
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  • Published on: 14th September 2019
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In this literature review, there will be presented issues related to advertising to children. As a society, we need to be aware of incentives that younger audience is experiencing on a daily basis when watching television or surfing on the Internet. Advertising and technics used to promote it, are alarming. Considerably, raising concerns regard to advertising aimed at kids, contributed to the further research which showed the impact that it has on children. Some researches confirm that advertising is a factor of obesity and materialism. However, there is some murmur of agreement that advertising can change nutrition patterns for healthier. There are also doubts about alcoholic bevareges adverts that children can see during watching television and negative impact on their young minds.

Chalopuka, Frank, Szczypka, Powell (2010) say that obesity among children is becoming a very serious problem nowadays. The problem is getting global. Kids are spending more and more time in front of the television screen “In 2007, children and teens watched, on average, 3 hours 25 minutes and 3 hours 21 minutes, respectively, of television per day” in United States which makes TV the biggest and the most effective tool in terms of advertising (Chalopuka, Frank, Szczypka, Powell 2010).In their research they try to examine food advertising exposure on  children. “Exposure to food advertising significantly influences children's food preferences/choices”

 Research shows that on Saturday's morning the number of food adverts aimed at youngster is the biggest and contains products high in sugar, sodium or fat (Chalopuka, Frank, Szczypka, Powell 2010.) Almost 87% of fast food adverts use fun as a tactic to persuade children. () Not only do they use emotional appeal like fun but also their strategies are known as free gifts, giveaways or famous characters which persuade kids to buy products. (Landon, 2013). In average hour children can see almost 11 food adverts. ( Stitt 2008) This is an overwhelming number of ads aimed at the youngest. It has been proven that exposure of young kids on TV advertising is creating their preferences and loyalty to the brand. The research also shows that parents are more likely to buy products requested by their children which means that it is affecting their decision-making process. (Stitt, 2008). There is also a strong link between obesity and watching low nutrition food adverts. (Frechette, 2015) .  Steve Frechette in his journal article stresses that children exposure to food advertising is dramatic. Not only has this impact on weight and problem with obesity but it drives to low physical activity and many illnesses like diabetes. (Frechette, 2015).

Nevenka Popović Šević, Aleksandar Šević, Radmila Živković (2015) in their journal article claim that because of the products advertised to children there is more and more breaking conflict between parents and their child. The expectations to have the product seen on the TV are high and that is why children request and demand specific product from parents.  It is linked to developing materialistic values in a child very often followed by frustration, aggression and sadness when not possessing the desired product. This phenomenon is especially dangerous when kid is age seven and below because their perception and understanding of the adverts are very low. The authors of the article examine three hypothesis. One of it says that advertising is a reason of argument because the child does not possess the desired product. The second one is about an impact that advert message had on a kid such as creating an urgent want of possessing. Finally, the third hypothesis states that advertising is developing materialistic values in youngsters. Moreover, there has been research carried out in Belgrade where 338 children have been surveyed in year 3,4 and 5 as well in year 6 of elementary school. The questionnaire was designed to asses an understanding of the advertising and how kinds perceive it. The result has shown that 47.7% of sampled children after watching  Ty. adverts are likely to ask parents to buy a specific product. This is backing up first two hypothesis mentioned before about conflict between children and parents and also about urging parents to buy product seen in the Tv screen. “materialistic values in children are reflected by the importance they attach to possessions, the satisfaction they get from obtaining new possessions, and the degree to which they like children with more possessions more than other children” This is how Opre, Buizjen, Rejmersdal define materialism. By the age of 12 children are consumers familiar with the decision-making process. They have a want or a need then they are searching to fulfil and then make a choice or buy the item and finally they evaluate the performance of the product and alternatives.  The research conducted by authors Opre, Buizjen, Rejmersdal on children 8-11 years old examined whether exposure on the advertising is affecting product desire. The result was positive and indeed the is strong connection between watching adverts and developing materialistic values. There is an overall agreement that children have a very low cognitive understanding and can not grasp the marketing tactics.

Alcohol is heavily advertised on television. Unfortunately, children are exposed on this kind of adverts. There are negative qonsequences when young audience is watching alcoholic beverages.   The authors stressed that very often in alcoholic advertising there are appalling elements like “humour; music; story; people characters; and animal characters. They found liking of these elements contributed significantly to the overall likeability of the advertisements and purchase intent for the product advertised “(referencje).” Advertising technique, particularly in television [36,37]. Research has found that slapstick and clownish humour are particularly appealing- ing to children” Authors claim that the stronger effect on kids has animal character and cartoon. There has been research conducted on exposure to the alcoholic beverages on different target groups in Australia in 2006 and children 0-12 and there were at least 30 adverts with an element of a cartoon that was appealing to this particular group. Moreover, the other author agrees with this and suggests that promotion and advertising of alcohol are encouraging children and showing them patterns of drinking.

Advertising to children is a very controversial issue nowadays. This literature review has shown that because of the television advertising and children exposure on them might be harmful this is why there should be steps taken by parents to cut down on time spent in front of the computer. Many research shows that advertising has a negative impact on kids and it is contributing to obesity, materialism and wrong patterns presented to kids.

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