How The Kids Took Over

2006 ,    »  -   12 Comments
Ratings: 6.89/10 from 9 users.

How The Kids Took OverIn the last 10 years, corporations have doubled what they spend marketing to your children. It's no wonder. Children influence 62% of family purchases - everything from snack food to cameras to cars. Kids under twelve are at the epicentre of consumer culture.

There is gold in the hills, and marketers know your children will lead the way. So, they spend billions of dollars every year, on the premise that a tug of your heartstrings will mobilize your purse strings. And they've unleashed an army of market researchers to help them accomplish their mission. The kids have taken over.

It's all been made possible through a dramatic shift in parenting style, which has parents dictating less and listening more, and ageneration of under twelve's that is more numerous and more affluent than the Baby Boomers. This is a marketing culture where companies are moving far beyond traditional boundaries, coining terms like "the infant niche market" and "cradle-to-grave brand loyalty." Psychologists and anti-marketers have been waving a red flag for years, and now they're dressing for battle. Meet the players who have helped the kids take over.

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12 Comments / User Reviews

  1. Timjim

    The programme begins with a 5 min introduction from a Japanese/Korean/Taiwanese???? host, but never fear, the English language documentary then begins. The last half hour is back to the studio for discussion.

    Recommended for any parent who wants to bring up their kids and protect them from marketing. Its good to know that activist groups are beginning to campaign to stop corporations controlling childhood.

    First step looks like not having a television at home.

  2. Mr. Balls
  3. Mr. Balls

    Good film with an nice overview of how modern marketing started targeting kids in the 1970s with increasing sophistication. Big money is being spent on marketing research with huge profits made on the kids market. Brand loyalty is now being imprinted on infants with a "cradle to the grave" marketing philosophy. Unless you're Amish, I'm not sure how you fight this...

  4. emsilly
  5. emsilly

    this is truly terrifying... good film for sure. no one is safe from the corporations and marketing!

    agreed, no idea how we fight this. we probably don't. it seems a bit too late... to fight this we'd have to destroy the economy we've created which would effectively change the entire world we live in.

    probably needs to happen at some point.

  6. jparv
  7. jparv

    Good documentary. Im in marketing myself and got some good ideas from this film. People want to spend money around their kids and they have every right to do so.

  8. Farren
  9. Farren


    The issue people take with marketing like this is that it is blind and trains babies and children to be inherently selfish, only think of themselves, and feel entitled to get what they want.

    It discourages altruism, selflessness, and empathy for others. Our society has many of the problems it does (increasing shootings at home and workplace, hate crimes, anger, terrorism, etc.) because people are not encouraged to develop their inherent empathy for others.

    When it's either my way or your way, but no compromise or win-win, then conflicts are inevitable. And that mentality is what this greedy marketing promotes...from birth.

    It basically thinks: there's nothing more important in life than instant gratification and profit. If I can't get what I want fairly or in a way that doesn't cause problems for others, I have every "right" to just take it.

    Enough with the blind greed. Humanity needs empathy and compassion to balance itself out.

    Besides, you say: "People want to spend money around their kids and they have every right to do so." -- Of course they do. But people in marketing business like you, who specifically target children, *manipulate* them and therefore what you do is not fair. It's like me giving you a shot of heroin (something extremely addictive) and then saying, you have every right to keep buying the drug from me, because it's your choice. But I as the marketer manipulated you to get you hooked on the product first.

  10. George
  11. George

    @Farren: Well said Farren. I see many disturbing connections between addiction and the growth of marketing, esp. it's targetting of the vulnerable and impressionable young.

    Instant gratification at any expense is the driving force behind both. And one addiction is often replaced with another, even more destructive one.

    *****Let's start to make a positive change by putting our family's and communities' NEED BEFORE corporate GREED! ******

    that's where the word brand, as in the Nike brand, orginally came was used to describe the practice of farmers stamping their personal logo on their cattles' backs. It was to show that every branded animal, was the property of said farmer.

    These days, we pay crazy prices to almost literally brand ourselves. We make ourselves symolically the property of companies such as Nike, or Lous Vuitton by chasing after their products, often solely because they are visibly branded. By wearing them, we become effectively branded.

    So, the average person, will have put in loads of extra hours at a job they often strongly dislike, or at least find boring and unfulfilling, only to spend it on buy someting that symbolises they are owned (pwned?!) by a large corporate brand.
    Amazing how we can get sucked into working even more hours, just to display the fact that we have chosen to be symbolically owned by a company that puts profits before people. Wouldn't be so bad if the whole thing was enriching, fulfilling, and helping keep society working well, healthy and happy etc. Last time I checked, it wasn't doing any of those things. Quite the opposite for most of us, factory workers in countries of manufacture in particular.

    Children are the most malleable and vulnerable to this sell off. I welcome docs like this that expose the detritus created by the profit before people's (needs) ethos. Many thanks to the film makers, and the person who posted it :D

  12. L.Walker
  13. L.Walker

    what i find bothering above and beyond the marketing, is once kids have experienced everything and have everything the world has to offer (like cruises, spa treatments, buying everything they want) what more is there to work for or want. sort of like eating cake every day, it's no longer a treat, but part of your normal life. life then becomes nothing but instant gratification.

    what i think should concern people is what is going to happen when these very spoiled kids grow up and have empty miserable lives because all they know is commercialism and their own happiness through consuming. the next 10-20 years will be interesting.

    and i wish the mandarin parts were at least subbed in english ^^

  14. Golden Chantarelle
  15. Golden Chantarelle

    Luckily here in Sweden advertisements aimed at children under age 13 is illegal, as well as advertising medicine and any type of drugs like alcohol and tobacco. So it's not unrealistic to have away with those things, just needs a political will to do so. But with satellite tv, which most people at least in the cities have access to, they still get child commercials from abroad.
    I'm lucky that my parents were very strict with TV when i grew up, not more than one hour TV per day except on saturdays. But it also made me grow out of sync with other kids sadly, I often didn't know the stuff that they were all talking about, that sucks a little when you're that age but I'm happy now that I didn't grow up with a desire for consumption.
    I have a lot of problems in my life, if I on top of everything else had a consumtion pattern like most of my peers in my age that would be the straw that breaks my back.

  16. Tali Foox
  17. Tali Foox

    True, what all of you here say is very true. When and where I was growing up there were almost no adverts on the tely at all, and life was good. But at the tender age of 10 I moved to another country and was first introduces to these things. Today in my third country, Canada, I find that these ads aimed at kids are worse than ever, and Danada is not alone in this, in my opinion, disgraceful practice.

  18. RobinSweet
  19. RobinSweet

    True, what all of you here say is very true. When and where I was growing up there were almost no adverts on the tely at all, and life was good. But at the tender age of 10 I moved to another country and was first introduces to these things. Today in my third country, Canada, I find that these ads aimed at kids are worse than ever, and Canada is not alone in this, in my opinion, disgraceful practice. This is very sad, really.

  20. Mabel Mole
  21. Mabel Mole

    It's strange how we as a society have just allowed this to happen to our children, not that anyone can be surprised...the debt that some families collect just in order to have materialistic items that just end up taking up room, ridiculous! Just in order to "keep up with the Jones". Showing love, support, and companionship for our children, I believe goes a lot further than spending time away from home to make money to buy things for them just to keep them occupied by our absence! But, that comment opens up a whole other can of worms....

  22. Jeremy
  23. Jeremy

    Check out Owned Operated on this site if you liked this one, another great doc.

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