For the longest time, NHL’s television watching habits were blissfully commercial free. He would watch DVDs, kids channels (where the only commercials were for their own shows) or DVRed shows (commercials quickly skipped by). As he’s gotten older, though, he’s come to notice those little bits of advertisement. I’d like to announce that my savvy son has realized that these are just crass attempts to sell him things he doesn’t need. I’d like to say that. Really, I would. Sadly, I can’t.
Of course, NHL is only 7 years old, so his naiveté can be forgiven when it comes to this subject. Still, it is both amusing and frustrating to hear a commercial come on the television only to be followed by cries of “Can we get that?”, “Can we go to that?”, “Can we watch that?” Of course, since his little brother is such a copy-cat, those cries get echoed by JSL as well.
If an “As Seen On TV” product spot airs that shows kids gluing bits of paper together to make something that vaguely resembles a dog, suddenly the boys will want this item. It is all they’ve ever wanted in their lives and they must possess it!
If the boys see a commercial for a fast food chain, they are overcome with a hunger for burgers and chicken nuggets. And a toy. Don’t forget the toy that comes with the meal! (We used to let the boys have the rare trip to McDonalds until we realized that JSL was playing with the toys and refusing to eat anything but french fries.)
If NHL spies a spot for a new television show that will be airing, suddenly he develops a desire to see this show. The DVR must be set immediately even if the show is a month away. Never mind that the DVR can only go a week out. This show is going to be the greatest thing EVER and they can’t wait to see it.
I’ve sat down with NHL and explained that he doesn’t need everything he sees in commercials. I’ve told him that they are designed to sell him things. Still, I know that come the next commercial interruption, he’ll be asking for something new that he just has to have.
How about you? Have your kids noticed and asked for items from commercials?