In your homes?! In your schools?!

Are you a parent? Take a look around your house. If you go to school, take a look around your classrooms. Work in an office? Do the same thing. If you’re a boarding student like I am, go ahead and look around your room. See anything interesting or out of the ordinary?  Probably not, right? Well, I did when I looked around mine.

Take a look at this poster.

Despite the fact that I have a poster in my room that reads “School is Fun” (Can you blame me, my mother put up educational posters of state flags and birds in my room as an adolescent), this seemingly adorable looking banner of animals is actual murketing.  After having this banner up in my room for four months now, I realized this just the other day.

If you’re unfamiliar with the brand, that’s completely fine, because it’s actually a popular brand sold in Japan called Suzy Zoo. You’re probably wondering how a brand from Japan is related to all this. Well, change my wall to a wall in a classroom for grade school students and change the characters of Suzy Zoo to say familiar characters from Pixar. If you can imagine young children seeing this poster, responding to it, and going home to their parents, only to go shopping with them another day and seeing those same familiar characters on notebooks, calendars, backpacks, clothes, and other goods, then you will begin to understand how marketers use these subtle methods that children are unable to discern easily from the traditional commercial advertisements that everyone is used to.

The film, Consuming Kids, (mentioned in previous posts) explores in more detail how advertisements saturate everyone’s life especially those of children even going as far as following them to school where you think they would be free from marketers’ agendas. Right? Wrong. Did you know some schools have taken students on field trips…to the mall?

It is exactly as one man stated in the movie, “They call that education?”

As much as school is a learning place, there is a lot more advertising being done there then you would think from sponsors of big corporate companies like Pepsi and Coca-Cola to something as simple as a poster on the wall.

Something like my Suzy Zoo poster is harmless to someone like me that, let’s face it, knows better. But what about all the younger individuals who don’t have that knowledge?

Think about it.