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Reaction to consumerism

Sunday 23 November 2003, by Arthur Lutz

There I am, unfortunately, shopping in a large super/hypermarket, over here is France. A father is shopping for food with his 3 year old son. I go past them as I choose my cereal.

Father - "So which cereal do you want ?"
Son - "Hmmmm.... That one." Pointing to a branded chocolate cereal.
Father - "Which one is it ?"
Son - "The one with the troll on it."

As I look down to the cereal packet he is going for, you can barely see what product you are buying, more than half of the packet is covered with "Lord of the Rings" goodies. It is one of the only packets that seems to have a toy in it.

The father obviously worried about the fact that the kid is going to get the cereal, extract the toy, and not eat the rest of the packet, wants to make sure it's really the CEREAL he wants and not the TOY. So he points at the vague representation of the cereal that you can barely see at the very bottom of the front of the packet.

Father - "Are you sure, it is this cereal you want ? You're not getting it to get the troll figure ?"
Son - After a quick look to cereal, reassures his father "Yes it's that one."

As they start cruising to the next highly marketed product range, I think of the marketing people think of how to best target age ranges of 3 years old to 12 years old. I feel physically sick. When I see kids, they see consumers. It's only thanks to Bill Hick's humoristic approach of marketing people that the sick feeling in my stomach goes.

The other day I heard the average pocket money in France for kids between 10 and 13 is 75 euros. It's a booming market. I'm 22 now, how will we prevent our kids from being consumers from that early age?

 

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