Thursday, August 26, 2010

Commercialism Corner

Commercialism Corner: Your one-stop shop for quick summaries and links to all the latest news about the commercialization of childhood.

Digital Diversions Leave Teens, Parents Sleep-Deprived – New study shows that 80% of adolescents don’t get enough sleep, even though 90% of parents think they do. The study finds that “digital diversions,” like cell phones, are major factors of the sleep deprivation, which is supported by the finding that 4 out of 5 teens sleep with their mobile phones and wake up to respond to text messages.

Princess Culture Turning Girls Into Overspending Narcissists – A commercial culture that tells girls they can be Disney princesses by purchasing products gives way to narcissistic adults and loads of credit card debt, say researchers.

M2 Research Reports 90 Percent of 'Tweens' are Playing Games Online; Mobile and Social Media Use on the Rise Among Children – New market research finds 93% of so-called ‘tween’ boys and 91% of ‘tween’ girls play online games and calls this a “Sweet Spot” for advertisers. The research also finds that social networking sites are increasingly popular with youngsters, with boys 8-11 and girls 12-15 reporting Facebook (which is renowned for its lax privacy controls) as their favorite site.

Want Your Kid to Get Ahead? Learn From the Gorillas
– Free-Range Kids founder Lenore Skenazy, drawing from Susan Linn’s The Case for Make Believe, playfully describes the primal importance of children’s creative play—and the importance of battling its erosion by screen activities—for children’s healthy and happy development.

The Summer Movie Marketing Report Card – Ad Age reviews and grades major film studios’summer movie marketing campaigns. Iron Man 2’s Paramount and Twilight’s Summit score well; apparently the marketing of these PG-13 movies to children (with, for example, tie-ins with Burger King Kids Meals) scores high in the marketing industry.

New Law to Forbid Junk Food Ads on Estonian TV – A draft of a law that may be approved by the Estonian Parliament would ban junk food ads on children’s TV shows there. If the law passes, Estonia will join other EU countries that are enforcing limits on advertising for low nutrient foods aimed at children.

Volkswagen Drives Family Travel Content
– In an effort to market the Volkswagen Routan minivan, VW sponsors an original online series “The Great Getaway” with VW branding integral to the program. This KidScreen article concludes that more of this kind of branded content can be expected: “The partnership shows how content providers are creating custom platforms upon which advertisers can introduce new products and reach their target audience.”

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