There is this commercial on right now that makes my blood boil. I’m sure you’ve seen it. It’s a McDonalds commercial about a dinosaur who eats Happy Meals to be healthy. I mean, of course she does. What’s healthier than chicken nuggets, french fries and a juice box? Ohhhh… my bad, you went and churched it up with milk and (preservative laced) apple slices. Got it. And now all the kids will grow up big and strong. Makes sense. You know what doesn’t make sense? Both my younger kids know the entire jingle. I was trying to find the ad on YouTube, to share with you, and I asked them about the commercial, and they both broke out into song. Inflection and all. We don’t even eat at McDonalds! But that’s the genius of marketing! Add your commercial of lies in to the daily gamut of kids programming, and SLAM DUNK! You get kiddos who sing a jingle, and just like propaganda pamphlets, your parents jump on the bandwagon and drive over to Mickie D’s for their new and improved and SUPER HEALTHY meals. Do not drink this Kool-aid people. Look, eat all the craptastic food you want; who am I to tell you what to eat?. But don’t teach your kids that this is what a nutritious meal is. The amount of nutrition in this meal is scarce, hence the jingle and the dinosaur. How many commercials do you see about watermelon during prime time? None? That’s because the watermelon doesn’t need anything fancy to sell itself. We all love it because it’s good and good for you. And it pisses my off that the marketing big wigs single out my kids to sell their poison. Shame on them.
Speaking of targeting my kids…let’s discuss the newest Kidz Bop. My first issue? Don’t teach kids how to misspell simple words. I get that the “Z” makes you cool and gives you street cred, especially with the toddler to 8 year old demographic, but isn’t proper grammar cooler? We’re raising children who think talking “ghetto” or “street” is normal. I’m not saying everyone should speak with a pretentious British accent, but normal, proper American English is the official language of this country. Sort of.
Aside from all that, my biggest beef is the song selection. Now, I get the songs have always been borderline inappropriate. Kidz Bop 10, has “where’d you go?” by Fort Minor. Kinda heavy content for a kids re-do song, don’t you think? Sure, they change out the lyrics a bit , but the message remains the same. Kidz Bop 7 has “Lose my breath” by Destiny’s Child. Ummm, maybe I’m wrong, but all this time I thought this song was about sex. Even if it’s not (it is) , it’s overtly sexual.
So anyways, I’m watching some Phineas and Ferb with the kids the other day, and low and behold up pops a commercial for Kidz Bop 22. YAY! <— sarcasm. They go through the clips of each song. “Call Me Maybe”, Ok, totally acceptable. Catchy tune, and I let the kids blast this in the car. “Part of Me”… good message, kid friendly. Obligatory Beiber song, yuck, but it is a kids c.d. Hmmm, maybe I’ve misjudged you Kidz Bop. “Starships” comes on and I think, aha! here’s the inappropriate song, but it is pretty cleaned up, even from the radio version. End of commercial is nearing and I’m almost into this collection of radio hits. And then I hear it,” Hey I heard you like the wild ones”… SCREECH. What? They found something more inappropriate than Nicki Manaj? Of course they did. Gross. This song is totally about hooking up. Ok, no it’s not, it’s about fucking. “… took you home it’d be a home run”. I’m not too sure what first base is anymore, but I’m pretty sure I an figure out what getting past all the bases means. And I don’t think my 8 year old should be singing about it. (Although, I totally dig this song.) They do remove most of that craziness out of the song, but they change it around to “I wanna dance in the club…”. Really? So, 10 year olds want to go clubbing with Flo Rida? When I was 10, I’m pretty sure I still played with Barbies.
Here’s another thought. Don’t these artists have to OK the use of their songs? I get it’s all about the Benjamin’s or whatever, but don’t they realize that the adult content of the song is a bit much? Granted, I believe the responsibility comes down to parents as to what they deem appropriate for their kids to watch/listen to/participate in, but I feel like at least one of these artists would have said, “you know, my songs aren’t for elementary school kids” and declined the request. Or, maybe these money hungry fools over at Kidz Bop HQ would have said the same about the song selection. Surely at least a few of those creeps have kids of their own. Do they really blast the collection on the way to soccer? And my last question, if this is legitimate, why don’t the run these commercial during prime-time when more parents (the ones with the money) are watching? I know the answer, just stating one more thing that bothers me about marketing, consumerism, and parenting.
And while I’m on my bandwagon, all those day time TV infomercials for kids products can totally suck it. My kid doesn’t need a light up pillow pet. I already bought into the need for the regular pillow pet, can’t you just be satisfied with that? Now they are positive they can’t live without Slushy Magic or Foamfetti, and when my 8 year old saw they carry Fushigi at Target she went bananas!
If I have to hear one more time that I need, or should “totally get” the Trendy Top or Pajama Jeans, I’m gonna lose it. Thanks kids, I know you want mom to look nice, but I’ll just stick to Target and Old Navy for my cheap clothes.
I guess you can’t really blame the kids for falling into the trap. I mean, the commercials definitely make the crappy product look fun, exciting and durable. the announcer uses so much inflection and so many buzz words you can’t help but get caught up in the magic of the moment. Which is why they hock that crap to kids in the first place.
I guess my real issue is’t that they market it, but that they think we’re all naive enough to buy into it. It’s insulting, really. Sweet readers, don’t let the marketing man best you! It’s your dollar to spend as you see fit, but spend wisely. Show the marketing jerkoffs that we can’t be fooled by changed lyrics, tricked up fruit and flashy verbage. And let them know that our kids won’t break us with dumbed down language and plea’s of “needs”. Regardless of who they sling their crap ads at, WE are the real consumers. So tell my kid all day long that your latest gadget is awesome, or that dinos like processed food, but at the end of the day, I’m the parent and I take full responsibility for what my kids learn, what the buy, and what they need.
Although, I kinda want some Silly Slippeez for myself. Those sharks are kick ass, but the monsters are pretty adorable, too. And it’s super cool how they use a “Z” in the word “slippeez”.