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Are kids as adults the coming-of-age of advertisements in India?

May 3, 2012 11:15:21 AM IST
Enkayaar, Glamsham Editorial
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It would always be debatable whether one should use children in advertisements to connote relationships between a boy and a girl. Three such advertisements from this perspective have become a talk of the town, first one being the advertisement of Vodafone where a dog plays the catalyst in allowing a boy and a girl to interact with each other and test out whether they can be friends, second the advertisement of web portal where young children are shown as adults talking about relationships and the third being the advertisement of a chocolate where a girl and boy are devouring chocolates and the manner in which they are enjoying the chocolate.

For some the portrayals of this kind by using children tantamount to pushing the children from the age of innocence to maturity before they actually reach maturity is not correct. For parents who otherwise are at their wits end to fend off a plethora of communication in all forms unsuccessfully, airing of such commercials on television further adds to their woes. It is a difficult proposition to control advertisement viewing. As a matter of fact when my 6 year old son asked me why the dog does not allow anybody to go where the boy and girl are sitting I was left fending for the answer.

Portraying children in such kind of campaign, for others, is a manifestation of the power that children have now acquired in making a decision about a brand. But the moot point is, the children are being bombarded and doctrinated through these advertisements in such a manner that instead of being a benign pester power, it has become more of a threatening proposition, a child not surrendering till his or demands are met.

But the change in the social dynamics associated with a child is more to do with the fact that a child in the metropolitan cities is spending more of his time with the anonymity of a flicking television channel, but the percentile of such children is less, as in other India, a child still grows up along with the family, the family of grandfathers, grandmothers, cousins, etc. all and in such a scenario for adults to face these kinds of situations at times becomes inconvenient.

May be, the reason for such experimentation becoming a talking point could be owing to the fact that advertisements as they are planned and conceived are done in the metropolitan cities but they are watched all over the world in real time basis. So some kind of moderation needs to be induced into advertisements where a boy and a girl are being portrayed simultaneously perhaps!


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