Importance of Preparing Kids to understand advertisements

With globalisation picking up pace, there has been a tremendous increase in advertising channels in the last decade. One can find advertisements everywhere- on TV, magazines, apps, billboards, radio, newspapers, text messages, movies, social media and more. Consecutively, there has also been a surge in the use of digital platforms by children for the purpose of learning and entertainment. According to American Psychological Association, about 55% of kids starting kindergarten spent an average of two hours every day on these digital platforms.

The above trends—recent growth in advertising channels and the escalation of media use by children, have resulted in a dramatic increase in advertisements directly reaching the eyes and ears of our kids. Being young and gullible, kids often tend to believe in everything that they came across in commercials. When kids grow into teenagers, they become the most important demographics for advertisers. As their brand preferences are still shaping up, they heavily influence their parents spending priorities. It is no surprise that advertisers across industries continue to understand even the youngest kid as an ideal target audience. Hence, it becomes imperative to help children learn to identify the idea behind an advertisementso that they respond to them in a sensible and critical manner.

Teaching the basics of advertisements to our kids not only helps them react in a reasonable way but also allows them to figure out the purpose behind ads and grow up to become well-informed customers. When children start to grasp logic behind persuasive tactics such as advertising, they are less likely to be prodigal in the long-term. Learning about ads also instils a sense of consumer responsibility among the kids. They begin to differentiate between the products they need and the products they are tricked to believe they need. In order to make rational buying decisions, it is time our children should learn to identify the ways in which certain advertisements might trick them into believing something which isn’t true.

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Arunima Lal

Management student at SDA Bocconi Asia Center, Mumbai. Loves reading and writes about different topics concerning education in India