LOGO

 

CHILDREN AS CONSUMERS

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Kids almost since the day they are born started to be bombarded by brand messages. If we dare to check the books of the preschoolers we might find pictures of “fun and playful” brands like M&M’s or Kellogg’s. We can also think about the exposure of kids to the bright colored and desirable nice branded packaging at the supermarket, the movies advertisements, products placement in audiovisual productions, TV commercials, internet banners, billboards, radio… messages everywhere, all of them with just one purpose: Consumption!

In fact, if we think about it, it is practically impossible to escape from marketing messages, that’s why children, as soon as they are able to speak, start to recognize logos and “read” them out loud to the surprise of everyone. They also ask for certain brands to their parents as young as two years old!

Thinking about the context of the world we are living in, it is very important to educate our kids about this subject as it is inevitable for them not to be part of the consumers, at least they can learn how to buy responsibly. In the unit of inquiry based on the transdisciplinary theme “How We Express Ourselves”, second graders had the opportunity to be carefully instructed in this matter, teaching them about the main concepts and real characteristics of advertisements, including some psychological structures that the brands use to appeal our desire.

“Human beings use different forms of communication to express their beliefs, thoughts and perceptions of the world” was our Central Idea, so we had the mission to make it comprehensible for children in order to plant the seed of critical thinking. It is our responsibility to guide this young population in making good decisions and be conscious about the situation of the planet, taking into account the consequences that excessive consumption has on the planet.

Children are an important and desirable target for marketers, because nowadays this group has more disposable income at younger ages and they have a significant influence over family purchases, as a result of which now the marketing industry is devoted to figure out how to sell things to kids.

During this unit we were able to teach second graders how the advertisement works, beginning by the color theory concerned to how is the process of making a new brand, the logo, the slogan, the package, the different ways that the marketing uses to get to us, brands on the TV, the street, the internet and so on.

We worked very hard to make them understand what advertisers are trying to accomplish, explaining them that this marketing world is a multi-billion business industry that depends on people buying things, no matter what it takes. We had a very interesting lecture given by Mauricio Romero towards how advertising can trick us with fake promises and announcements. This made the kids more reflective about the fact of buying useless things that they don’t need, stuff that might end up forgotten in a stack of toys or even in the trashcan.

All of our efforts were successful, due to the fact that the students got to understand some of the most important strategies used by advertisers, we discussed about how can they be smart and responsible consumers by knowing what is good and convenient for them and what is not, what is good for the environment and what is not, and what has good value for the money invested.

 

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