ERIC Number: ED226702
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1982-Apr
Reference Count: 0
Content and Effect of Children's Commercials.
Solomon, Henry; And Others
The 3 studies described in this paper focused on the image of the child in television advertising directed toward children between the ages of 2 and 11. Using an analysis code containing 16 operationally-defined categories, the first study analyzed the behaviors of children depicted in 37 commercials for toys, food, and clothing from Saturday morning children's programming. Results showed a predominance of white male characters and toy advertisements, and consumer behavior depicted as happy, extroverted, and primarily pro-social, but not assertive or creative. Study 2 analyzed 135 commercials from weekday afternoon children's programming from 1979 and 1980. The predominance of toy commercials and of white males (except for 1980) reflected both earlier studies and the first study. In the third study, 75 children from two New York schools in grades 1 through 3 were individually interviewed concerning their perceptions of the children portrayed in television commercials. Overall, these studies indicate that the child actors in commercials are presented as happy, and that even first grade subjects recognize this happiness. From grades 1 through 3, subjects showed increasing sophistication in understanding some aspects of the reality of commercials, but this sophistication was related only weakly to their desire for specific products and not related at all to their feelings that toys and clothes bring happiness. Ten references are included. (LMM)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Eastern Psychological Association (Baltimore, MD, April 1982).