The general message of this segment is dead on. Marketers do understand what young girls want to buy and how to sell it to them, and they understand how impressionable that market is. My only question was about the discussion of the tween. I had never realized before that the term was created as a marketing ploy, and maybe that makes me naive. But I also had never thought of the term applying to girls as young as six. As an average consumer, I always thought of tweens as similar to pre-teens, girls from about 10-12. Was I mistaken here? Did I miss the messages that said tweens could be as young as six?
It may be an overwhelming market- full of unethical actions to sexualize younger children, but it isn’t just the kids who buy into it- their parents are ultimately in control of their wallets. A visit to Claire’s and friendship bracelets are great, but high heels and ‘tightening butt’ tips are way too far. I don’t see this market changing anytime soon- in fact it may get worse, but it’s up to the consumers to resist being molded by advertising.
I am with Leah on this one for thinking Tween was about 10-12. Six sounds outrageous. But then I thought about 2 girls in my life, twin sisters who are now 8. They are my best friends daughters and the things i hear them talking about are crazy! Im only 12 years older than them, and when i was their age, i had no idea about some of the things that they and their friends do and talk about and wear. Its eye opening i guess to see that girls especially, are aimed at to become more mature faster. Its scary to think about really. kids should be kids. They shouldnt be trying to be older than they are. Its just a scary thing to think about i guess and i feel like its only going to get worse
Though I agree with the statement that kids should remain kids, I think the trends of media and technology today will prevent children from staying young very long and there isn’t really any way around it. According to the article, children are exposed to as much as 32 hours of media a week by preschool. There may be ways to lessen the amount that children use media, but that’s up to the child’s parents.
In a marketing class I have taken we watched a movie on how marketers have stumbled upon the huge booming market of “Tweens”. Just recently they have noticed the huge market available to them and have found ways to understand and appeal to these younger girls. I never really paid much attention to advertisements targeting this age group until watching that video.
The marketing company would recruit girls, and pick the “Alpha Girl”, the one who they could see had the most influence over the other girls. Then the marketing company asked her parents if they could host birthday parties with products that were being developed by their clients to see what was the biggest hit at the party. It amazed me that parents actually let this happen. I believe the parents didn’t even fully understand what they were doing to children, let alone even their child by letting marketing/research teams invade their own home!
Because this market has been found, it is not going to go away. Most likely it will only get worse. The video clip stated the age group targeted is at 8-12, and the age to be older younger will only keep dropping. It is up to parents to acknowledge this and work hard at influencing and guiding their children in positive ways.
I guess I realized that girls were “growing up” younger and younger, but I didn’t realize the extent of the “tween” phrase. I honestly thought it was 10-12 only. To know that they are targeting girls as young as 6 with those ads is pretty unsettling. The one ad towards the end with the children’s swimsuit thing was just totally messed up and I found it pretty disturbing. I find it surprising that there doesn’t seem to be more of an uproar about ads like this I guess.
I think that younger generations are being exposed to the media and it is reflecting way to much on them. Because I remember when I was like 11 or 12 I did not wear any make up and now seeing young girls at the mall they are all dolled up and attempting to wear all the new fashions and look older then they are. Also all the new media and ads are somewhat preventing kids from staying young so they should think about a new target audience.
The media is a horrible place for young girls growing up. these young girls get ahold of these magazines that are targeted for older girls, and they try to grow up way too fast. There are so many young girls trying or pretending to be people they are not, and It is just sad to watch the media play on that, and use them.
From when I was growing up, to now the demographic has changed drastically. I didnt wear make up until 8th grade but when you go somewhere with younger kids in the tweens you can see the effects of the media- all wear abercrombie or hollister and don’t know how to use eyeliner. But they wear these brands/ makeup to try to fit with society because thats what the magazines are telling them to do. The portrayal of girls in the media has gotten so drastic that many magazine editors, like Seventeen’s, have a section in their magazine about having healthy self esteem and accepting your body type to avoid farther esteem issues or disorders.
Agreeing with all the previous comments above, I thought the Tween range was a bit exaggerated. I don’t think I’ve ever seen a 6-year-old flipping through a Seventeen magazine. For example, I still sometimes flip through a Seventeen magazine because my 16-year-old sister has a subscription and I don’t think it has inappropriate content. I didn’t sense a lot of pressure to “grow up” or act more mature from advertisements necessarily but perhaps the media they are seen in could be argued that way.
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