Why parents associate summer with spending

Just in case you haven’t realized “how things work” with parenting and the media, I note that the following crossed my desk this morning, from Kids Tips Magazine by way of Media Map:
Media Outlet: — Kid Tips Magazine
Circulation/Reach: — National Weekly
Medium: — Television
Industry: — Technology
Subject: — Kids in the Summer Outdoors


Summary: — The Kid Tips Report as seen on FOX is producing a series on kids and the outdoors. We are interested in any ideas relating to products that children and families can use in the outdoors during the summer months. Please either respond to this email or submit your idea in the application area on toytips.com. All submissions will be considered. If chosen, 3 product samples will be required for testing and review.
Notice that they’re not asking for ideas related to how kids can play outdoors and have fun during the summer, but for products that can be sold.
I know I shouldn’t be surprised. I know that the media exists within the machinery of commerce, but somehow there’s a duplicitousness implied in this request that I still find troubling.
How about you? Does this surprise you at all, or do you assume that when you watch TV you’re going to be barraged by purchase opportunities and sales efforts regardless of what program you chose?

3 comments on “Why parents associate summer with spending

  1. My thoughts…it’s safe to assume that the t.v. has stepped well beyond basic entertainment. Simple business practices are applied, and should not be condemned. Manufacturers have discovered that it is the best way to get through to consumers, because (drum roll) they are all “plopped” down in front of the t.v.!! Solution-limit t.v. time. Teach children that everything you see on t.v. is not real, nor is it something that will be brought into your home i.e. toys, snacks, etc. I actually work for a huge manufacturer and am truly grateful for my job, they are very supportive of my family and I do not feel the need to buy everything they advertise on t.v.
    Parents…feel free to use your discretion. 🙂

  2. Dave: I don’t think that you really read the request correctly. This request/TV show has nothing to do with promoting products. It’s a means of getting information out to you, the viewer. I looked up this website and this organization seems to really research products. They are probably just looking for new ideas. They don’t even sell anything. Before you post something, I’d research what you post first! Unfotunately, we live in a TV World. Look at the Apprentice– most of Donald Trump’s advertisers were written into the script. Look at Britney Spears’ new show.. she is trying to sell her image to rebuild a new one.. Books are the same… look at Oprah’s hot book, You: the Owner’s Manual or Racheal Ray’s cookbooks…. consumers read to learn and then to buy. I am a mom of 3 and work in advertising. I surely use the TV and rely on these sources to learn about products. The key is to LEARN about them.

  3. I’m sorry, Gigi, but I don’t see how else to interpret “ideas relating to products that children and families can use in the outdoors during the summer months.” If what you were saying were true, it’d instead say “ideas relating to things children and families can do in the outdoors”, but it’s not, it’s a call for merchandise. Which I don’t inherently have a problem with, but I do think it’s reasonable to observe that the consumer culture is rather remarkably pervasive in our society now…

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