Buying Cool

A typical American teenager will process over 3,000 discrete advertisements in a single day, and 10 million by the time they're eighteen. It's 24/7, 360-degree immersion, all by design. Our children are being overwhelmed and overtaken.

Child psychologist Allen Kanner, PhD. states:

"Teens are inundated with so much marketing about the importance of brands to identity and image, it has changed the way they socialize with each other, interact with adults and view themselves and the world."

Brands now denote social status. It's the new fashion caste system our teens and tweens are subjected to each day. The peer scrutiny is ruthless. If your child isn't wearing A&F or another currently cool brand, then they are an outcast, a sentence seemly worse than death.

Ad agencies and the large corporations that hire them know this well and they purposely manipulate a teen's natural insercuries to sell the idea that only by buying and wearing the current coolest brands you will then be accepted.

"Often there's a kind of official and systematic rebelliousness that's reflected in media products pitched at kids.
It's part of the official rock video world view. It's part of the official advertising world view that your parents are creeps, teachers are nerds and idiots, authority figures are laughable, nobody can really understand kids except the corporate sponsor."

--Mark Caspin-Miller, Communications Professor, NYU.


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