Saturday, January 14, 2012

Warning: Things on TV aren't always as they seem.

Remember being a kid and watching the Saturday morning cartoons?  I would wake up, get out of bed, and go straight to the TV in the living room.  My eyes wouldn't have even adjusted to the light yet so whenever I turned on the TV, my eyes would hurt.  My pupils would dilate.  Soon enough all was well and it was just Bugs Bunny and myself.

Then there were the commercials.  We go through phases in life.  As children, we love commercials, as adults we hate them, and I imagine once we get older we're going to love commercials again.  After all, what senior ISN'T interested in a telephone with a large number pad?  Of course there might not even be commercials on TV fifty years from now.

But that's another story.

I loved Saturday morning commercials.  Everything from the toys to the fruit snacks, to the cereal were amazing.  I wanted it all.  Christmas time was ultra special because that was how I made up my Christmas list.

Here's the commercials we were faced with:

There you go.  You just saw everything from Barbie, to Hot Wheels, to Pokemon to Sock 'Em Boppers.  I can see why we wanted these things as kids.

The toys look ridiculously fun.

But have you ever gotten one of those toys, played with it for a bit and then realized "This sort of sucks."  Of course you have.

The advertisements show these kids having the time of their lives.  I always wanted Sock Em' Boppers so that my friend could put his on, cartwheel towards me and sock me in the face.  The only thing was, I didn't have a friend that could do a cartwheel.  So that's out.

The more I learn about advertising, the more I love it.  Kids must be such an easy sell.  You come up with a jingle, and it doesn't even have to be that good.  Example from Skip it (commercial #1 in the video), "But the very best thing of all, there's a counter on this ball.  So try and beat your very best score, see if you can jump a whole lot more."

Brilliant, right?

Next you show kids having a crap ton of fun, and they're sucked in.  It doesn't matter if the actual consumer will never use the toy the way it was shown in the commercials.  For example, if I got a Pokedex toy, I would not be renting out a building in the city so that hundreds of kids can line up outside the door just to ask me questions about Pokemon.  That's just stupid.  But as a kid, I probably would have thought that kid was the coolest because he had the Pokedex.

I know I said that there might not be advertising for kids on TV in fifty years, but if there still is, it'll be made exclusively for Saturday morning cartoons.

Who knew we were such targets as children.

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