Zits Gets It Right. . . Something On Kids And Marketing. . . .

Earlier this morning, a couple of us were talking about the price of a Super Bowl Commercial and how it’s skyrocketed since we got started here at CPYU way back in 1989. It was a ridiculously expensive $700,400 during Super Bowl XXIV.  Thirty seconds of commercial airtime during this year’s Super Bowl LIII cost a measly $5.24 million. Are we nuts?

The answer to that last question is a “Yes!” To those who have something to sell, they know that they’ve got a captive audience looking for something to buy. We think those purchases will satisfy us, make more complete, and even give us peace. Funny how that never works. So, we will come back again next year and the price for those 30 seconds of commercial ticks will be even higher. For the marketer, it’s not money waste. Rather, it’s money invested that will generate a return far greater than the initial outlay.

Later this week I’ll be spending an entire Saturday morning with a group of parents and youth workers in Canfield, Ohio just scratching the surface of marketing, how it targets our kids, the methodologies employed (loads of them), and promises that are made. But we won’t stop there. We will look at how followers of Jesus. . . young and old alike. . . can respond to the 4,000 to 10,000 marketing messages we see each and every day in ways that bring glory to God by managing the marketing rather than allowing the marketing to manage us. They are important skills to teach to our kids. It’s a spiritual/theological issue. . . and I’m sure you get that. That’s why we’ve developed an easy-to-teach-and-use “marketing thought filter” through which to process and think about every ad you see. We call it “The Simple Seven”. Here’s a link to a free downloadable handout that explains it all.

Rather coincidentally, I saw this Zits comic in this morning’s paper. . . .

Youth workers, we’ve also made it easy for you to teach this content to parents in your youth ministry. We’ve put together an installment in our Just Add Parents series of ready-to-use parent meetings on the topic. It’s called “Raising Marketing-Savvy Kids.” It is designed to raise the awareness of the powerful role marketing plays in the lives of children and teens, informing parents of the strategies marketers use to push the “buy-button” on kids, and equipping them to teach kids to manage marketing messages to the glory of God. If you want to learn more about this resource, just click here. 

Why does this matter? This weekend I’ll be sharing part of the answer with my friends in Ohio through these two quotes from text books on marketing to kids. . .

“Kids are the most unsophisticated of all consumers; they have the least and therefore want the most. Consequently, they are in a perfect position to be taken.”  (in Kids As Customers: A Handbook of Marketing to Children)

“Their brains are the least developed, they have the least experience, and therefore they are in a perfect position to be taken.” (– in Consuming Kids)


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