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By Joy Wilson

How commercials influence what you buy for your children

Marketers do an incredible job of persuading children and families to desire specific toys, clothes and food. Using advertising strategies, companies allure parents to buy items for their children, as well as entice children to pine after products advertised to them.

After watching a commercial, a parent might desire an item they never thought they would. The advertiser might depict family fun, requiring a parent to fulfill their need to bond with their family. Companies use emotional appeals to show a child having more fun, becoming more independent or bonding well with a family member, which draws in potential buyers.

Children see other kids laughing, playing and having an amazing time with a particular product, and they yearn for it. They want to have that same amazing time, and the only way they could think to have such a great time is to procure the product being advertised. Colors, actors and excitement are all used to entice children into begging their parents for a specific item, article of clothing, or snack.

Chants, songs and repetition serve as ear-worms, reminding audiences of a product long after the commercial has ended. They drive the purchases of consumers by adding an element of familiarity with a product or service, as the may have heard a jingle or product title long before they felt the need to purchase it.

Another way that commercials influence what a parent buys for their child is by using fear. This emotional appeal uses a person's insecurities against them by bringing to light flaws a person might not know they posses. By telling consumers they are not pretty enough, smart enough or safe enough, advertisers create a problem and swiftly institute a solution – their product. This changes the way buyers think about themselves, as well as the way they perceive an object, article of apparel or food.

Cute celebrities also play a large role in what parents purchase for their children. When a child falls in love with a fluffy rabbit, or their favorite cartoon character, or a well-known actor, and they see that the animal, persona or celebrity uses a particular brand of toy, the child will desire the toy more. Knowing that someone they "know" and trust uses a product makes them feel a larger connection to it, causing a parent to feel they should buy the toy or item in question.

Caregivers might be more likely to get something if everyone else is buying it for their youngsters, or so the commercial depicts. The "bandwagon" approach is a common one used in advertisement aimed at families. If everyone else uses it, shouldn't your family? This tactic allows parents to feel that they are engaging in something or becoming a part of a bigger group.

There are many advertising and marketing strategies that influence what a parent buys for their kids. Companies use emotional appeals to entice buyers, as well as excitement, ear-worms, celebrities, and the bandwagon approach to convince people to get specific products for their families.

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