Kmart commercial encourages under-age kids to go to “Indiana Jones”

Posted on June 7, 2008 at 2:37 pm

Kmart has a new promotion urging children to participate in its “Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull” giveaway. The movie is rated PG-13 “for adventure violence and scary images.” PG-13 means that parents should be aware that it is unlikely to be suitable for anyone under age 13. The movie features guns, an atomic blast, knives, a whip, swords, punches, car chases, insects, and, of course, a snake, and some grisly images, including zombies, corpses, and skeletons. And yet the voice in Kmart’s commercial, urging kids to come into the store and make the purchase that qualifies for a free ticket to the movie, is clearly a child well under age 13. Yes, it is up to the parents to decide what is appropriate for their children to see. But this mixed signals from merchandisers imply to both parents and children that the movie is appropriate and that makes it harder than it should be.

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Marketing to Kids

Get Ready for Kidzilla

Posted on May 29, 2008 at 12:40 pm

Maybe it’s just too much exposure to commercials for Bridezilla, a sort of WWE with smackdowns between maniacal brides and their wedding planners, families, and bridesmaids, but I was horrified to read a press release today from MyKidsRegistry.com, a new “social networking” website that allows children to register for the gifts they want for their birthdays and holidays.

When planning her son’s 3rd birthday it went from being a project of joy to a “project”, Segal began to think of ways to simplify the process. She didn’t like telling people exactly what to buy for her son and the idea of people trekking to the nearest toy store and standing in line for something her son may already have in his toy box, was something that Segal wanted to avoid as well.

First, if Segal’s son’s 3rd birthday party was a “project,” it was too big and expensive. No 3 year old needs anything more than some balloons, a couple of games lasting about an hour, and 3-4 other children to sing “Happy Birthday” and help blow out candles. What is truly disturbing here is the way this promotes a “gimmee” culture that turns the entire idea of giving upside down. Instead of teaching children to accept what they are given graciously and that it is the thought that counts, it teaches them to think of their milestones as delivery systems for an endless conveyor belt of goodies.
The press release defensively asserts that

MyKidsRegistry.com is not about an over the top party or a “buy my kids this” mentality, but it is about saving time and money for everyone. Its free membership is designed assist parents in planning and shopping for the perfect party.

Baloney.
The next sentence is (literally) where the money is:

MyKidsRegistry.com is affiliated with birthdayinabox.com, Amazon.com, Kbtoys.com, etoys.com, ebeanstalk.com, Kazootoys.com, littletikes.com, babyuniverse.com, Upromise.com, netflix.com, snapfish.com, giggle.com, uncommongoods.com, MiniBoden.com, and LandofNod.com.

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