“Sesame Street”: Brought to you by PNC Bank

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10 Responses to “Sesame Street”: Brought to you by PNC Bank

  1. Max Williams says:

    I thought at first that this was maybe just to get to parents with their kids when they had their guards down.
    Seems interesting to me though that they are trying to advertise to children. So, being a bank and not a brand that sells items, is the “logic” behind this that the kids will beg their parents to buy them useless things that will put their parents in debt and result in the bank getting more money in interest payments?

    • Brin McAtee says:

      I didn’t quite understand this one either. I remember Colbert talking about Sesame Street incorporating more “money-lessons” on the show…I wonder if this sparked that.

  2. Ellie Caldwell says:

    I think what the article is getting at is based more on the actual values that are being promoted by the “money lessons” now that Sesame Street will be supported by a commercial company rather than PBS, which gets their money from federal funding and donations. Sesame Street has generally been seen as a pretty safe show for children, even by parents who are very concerned about the messages/advertisements reaching their children. I don’t know if the author is specifically implying that the bank would gear the show’s content to improve their own financial position or to sell particular products, but it seems that he is concerned about the values behind the programming; a bank is going to think of value in a more material sense than public broadcasting.

    It seems like a legitimate concern to me, although I don’t know how big of a concern it should actually be. Hopefully parents know that regardless of whatever values are shown on TV, they are the primary influencers of their child’s values. While kids can definitely be influenced by what they see on TV or in movies, a direct and personal influence is going to be a much stronger force in a child’s life. I would be more concerned about someone relying on Sesame Street to raise their child than the values depicted on the show itself.

  3. Ayumi Sakitani says:

    This article made me feel like that a lot of children’s innocent space in the mass media, such as “Sesame Street,” is being invaded by adults’ business and speculations. It means producing those kids TV programs is conducted only by producer’s and sponsor’s interests. It’s obvious sponsorship by some companies is essential for producers of TV programs. At the same time, the sponsor also wants to make their image better in the society. In this article, PNC Bank is trying to better its image by sponsoring the world-famous education TV program. It looks like both of producers and sponsors never consider about what is the most important element for kids TV programs.

  4. alexfus says:

    This article reminded me of the picture we saw in lecture today of the infant covered in logos. According to the website, http//www.media-awareness.ca/english/parents/marketing/marketers_target_kids.cfm: “…babies as young as six months of age can form mental images of corporate logos and mascots. Brand loyalties can be established as early as age two, and by the time children head off to school most can recognize hundreds of brand logos.” Having babysat extensively in the past, I have seen children watch television commercials. I was remember being shocked the first time I watched two sisters watching TV: they were just as engrossed by the commercial breaks as they were in the actual program. They would stare, entranced, and in between EVERY SINGLE commercial they would point to the TV and exclaim “I WANT that!!!” to each other and to me. It didn’t even seem to make much of a difference whether the product being advertised was for girls or boys, or even necessarily targeted at their age range. It was scary!
    Advertising targeted towards children is not only frighteningly effective, it may also be an unethical use of research on child psychology. As the American Psychological Association warns, children cannot cognitively differentiate between educational and commercial content, yet “The advertising industry spends $12 billion per year on ads targeted to children, bombarding young audiences with persuasive messages through media such as television and the Internet. The average child is exposed to more than 40,000 TV commercials a year, according to studies. And ads are reaching children through new media technologies and even in schools–with corporate-sponsored educational materials and product placements in students’ textbooks” (http://www.apa.org/monitor/jun04/protecting.aspx). I find the idea of product placement in schools outright appalling– yet I know that my own local school district had deals with Pepsi to keep vending machines on campus. In an age where budget cuts are forcing us to cut out PE programs, it seems unconscionable that schools are compelled to make up the difference by essentially selling soft drinks. What message does THAT send?

  5. Layc Looney says:

    Children growing up today are exposed to many more messages through advertisements than anyone before them. It is important for their parents or caregivers to monitor how they take in these messages, and correct the meanings behind them if they believe it is unsuitable for their understanding or knowledge. I agree with what @Ellie said about not having television programming replace the upbringing of your child. You should be the one explaining to them the importance of money, how to save it as well as how to spend it. If you disagree with what the program is teaching children, then correct it.

  6. Scott Wooley says:

    I do not have a problem with PNC teaming up with Sesame Street to teach financial lessons to young children. I think it is very important for children to learn the value of a dollar early on. Teaching lessons of saving and responsible spending is very important, especially in our current economic times.

    In my opinion, this partnership would become a problem if they were to place products into each financial lesson. If Elmo bought a Hot Wheels set instead of the “Fantastic Ball”, then we could worry that this episode was pushing the sales and image of Hot Wheels. Children would see the product on Sesame Street as something Elmo needed to have, and they would then feel the same need or desire to have that product.

  7. Ellie Boggs says:

    I think teaching young kids about handling money is a positive thing. That is a lesson that often falls off parents radar due to more pressing child-rearing issues but is still massively important for later in life. I agree with Scott on the fact that product placement in kids shows is a much more concerning issue than PNC’s partnership with Sesame Street. Kids don’t know the difference in specifically placed products in shows like adults do and it would influence kids much more.

  8. alexandra reyes says:

    First, I hate that bounce ad that came up when you go to the other site. I don’t completely understand why the banks were giving so much money or why they didn’t use it to pay make the people that they screwed over. I hate the banking people right now and even more so after reading this post.It’s great when they are trying to help kids learn how to spend their money. However, the company won’t teach them how the banks could hurt them later. It seems like its greenwashing in a way because they could be spending money fixing their problem rather rather than trying to do a good deed.

  9. nedmills says:

    It is innocent as long as they don’t cross the line in terms of adding something that is not educational. Sesame Street should always remain as a place that children can go to learn about subjects without the fear of being barraged by advertisements. I think it is a positive and creative change to the programming to implement things like teaching kids about money. Money is what makes the world run and therefore it is important to instill some sort of education on it.

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