Born to Buy by Juliet Schor Juliet Schor’s book Born to Buy: The Commercialized Child and the New Consumer Culture discusses the manner in which companies have targeted kids as potential market for their products. Schor, a professor of sociology and expert in consumerism brings the child’s spending power into focus and outlines the various strategies companies use to market to kids…
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The paper discusses how companies are exploiting marketing strategies to market to kids and commercialize childhood. In agreement with Schor, Media Awareness Network (par 1) states that children form a major market for many goods and services in today’s competitive market. Indeed, children’s spending power over the past one and a half decade has grown significantly and is currently estimated at close to 30 billion US dollars in the United States alone. Yet again, their spending on parental guidance has over the same period totaled about 600 billion US dollars. One of the major factors that impacted such expenditures is marketing. Marketing activities including advertising are conducted virtually everywhere especially when those targeted are children. Online, in schools, museums, and other strategic places, the child’s wallet has become a target according to Schor. Today, more than ever, marketers have devised effective strategies through which they intrude the kid’s most private space applying peer-to-peer marketing strategies to their advantage. In addition to these, scientific research methods are being applied to ensure that the last coin in the child’s sophisticated wallet is put into use. ...
At the age of two, some infants can actually demand certain product brands. Media Awareness Network (par 10) notes that “Marketers plant the seeds of brand recognition in very young children, in the hopes that the seeds will grow into lifetime relationships”. Back in the 70s and 80s, there were laws in place to protect children from certain business practices. For example, today the marketing of junk food, cars, cigarettes and alcoholic brands is a norm. Closely associated with the kids’ desire and recognition of certain brands is their expenditure and use of products. While yet in nursery school, the average child will ask for about 25 products in a day, the products growing in number as the child advances in age. What this means is that marketers unrelentingly exploit childhood and youth for the company’s benefit, the child’s wellbeing only being a secondary objective. No wonder , many multi-billion dollar companies across the world mind not spending billions of dollars yearly in ensuring that the child responds to or at least views a huge proportion of what they advertise. Schor (15) notes that “"We have become a nation that places a lower priority on teaching its children how to thrive socially, intellectually, even spiritually, than it does on training them to consume." According to Schor, marketers have realized that a child in the West spends a whole lot of time shopping, in front of the television, computer or game console. The children’s level of discipline is low even as they are obsessed, more than anything else, with their status in society. Their general belief is that the more they have or own, the happier they are bound to be. In other words, to many kids of the day, being rich is what life is all about. As a result,
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