Pester power is the power and ability children have by consistently and repeatedly nagging without ceasing to influence their parents to purchase for them advertised or the latest fashionable items. Parents, since the late 20th century, have been taking their children’s demands seriously. In most cases, parents give in rather than endure constant and relentless badgering. In the past centuries, children were supposed to be content with what they were given without disapproval or pestering for alternatives.
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Use of children in advertisement by Toyota
In marketing, the most important thing is successively identifying the customer, efficiently satisfying the customer, and then keeping the customers that have been attracted. In the late 20th Century, Toyota has drastically changed its marketing and advertising plans. Being one of the world’s largest vehicle manufactures, the company has shifted its advertisement plan to mainly including children as their asset of attracting potential buyers (Look Japan, 2002). The change has mainly been necessitated by rise in technological advancement. Children of the 21st century have shifted from engaging in physical outdoor activities to indoor computer based activities especially computer games. Of these computer games, those involving vehicles are the most loved and adored by children, for example, Need for Speed.
The computer games have been made readily available through such game containing gadgets like play station (PS) 1, 2, and 3, Play Station P (PSP) and X-BOX 360. Since children’s desires and pestering are nowadays taken seriously, Toyota has taken this opportunity to use children in their advertisement. Children do not drive nor own automobiles but their influence in the purchase is very important. Children want a family car with certain features especially those that resemble the ones in the computer games. They will not be happy if their parents bought a car that is not of their own choice; so parents are cautious and consultative in time of purchase.
Many parents are busy with work and so do not take much time in getting to know the latest model of car produced. However, children spend most of their time in the internet browsing or in playing computer games. A new model of a car is thus made into a computer game, which in turn reaches the children in no time. Children while just having a normal family union will tend to pester their parents to purchase the new model. When children are used in advertisement, other children take closer interest and picture themselves as the child in the advert. They become fascinated and carried away, and would do anything for the family to have such a car. This in turn results in relentless pestering on their parents in a bid to make sure their wish is granted. Parents would have no other choice but to do their children’s bidding (Hornaday, 1994).
Solving the Issue
Such advertisements are not ethically desired as they use children as objects for the Toyota Company to meet its result. To solve such a scenario of children obsession with what they see in the media, it is desirable for parents to radically and actively educate their children that what they see are just props which in the real sense are not true. The company should also be made to include in their advertisement, that the scenes have been doctored and not real, they are just advertisements, to eliminate the notion of superhuman obsession in children. Rules banning minors from advertisements should also be enacted (Bloomberg, 1998).
Bloomberg. (1998). Business Week. New York: Bloomberg L.P.
Hornaday, R. (1994). Cases in Strategic Management. Michigan: University of Michigan.
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Look Japan (2002). Look Japan volume 48. Tokyo: Look Japan Ltd.