Childhood Representation on Television Advertising

Childhood Representation on Television Advertising

Serpil Kır
Copyright: © 2019 |Pages: 16
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-5733-3.ch020
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Advertisements sell a lifestyle, a feeling, and a behavior as well as a product to the viewer. Competition in the market is so intense that they feel as much as the rational utility of the product, and they become marketable. For this reason, the child has been turned into a consumable object. When the ways in which children are represented in the media are examined, it is often the case that the opinions expressed by the children are used to make adults laugh, or the use of children's miserable photographs and descriptions of emotional exploitation of children is popularized, if there is no contribution from the child's self-esteem or adult's respect for the child. In this study, the representation of childhood, which is turned into a consumption object in the media, is explained in detail. In the content of the study, the advertisement was briefly defined, the concept of child and childhood clarified, and then how the child was represented in television commercials in Turkey was shown.
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Roles in reference to representation of childhood and child are differentiated within the society day by day. Advertisements lead individuals to consume easily by the help of used elements in regard to child and childhood. The medium is television; the message is child and childhood; audience is adult individuals in advertisements which include elements related to child and childhood. When it is considered in the scope of communication process, it is seen that the concept of childhood and children are used as a message in advertisements which target adults. Therefore, the concept of childhood and children are used as a “cute” component.

The aim of the study as a research topic is to reveal the representation of the child. Within this framework, firstly, the concept of the child and childhood is explained; then the state of the child in the face of television commercials is dealt. The population of the study is awarded ads of 2016 Effie Turkey Advertising Effectiveness Competition organized annually by Turkish Association of Advertising Agencies and Turkish Advertisers Association. In this study 58 advertisements which have ability to represent the childhood are dealt and analyzed by eliminating others from 423 ads of sixty five brands in thirty six categories in Effie Turkey Advertising Effectiveness Competition in 2016. For this reason, distribution and content of ads in itself is significant. It is thought that there are two different purposes for advertised products which are not used by children or used by children with their families in ads which include child characters. The first one is innocent and reliable natures of children and; the second one is to target maintenance of family ideology which creates and maintenance consumption society is required for maintenance of capitalist system and for this purpose, children take place in this kind of commercials as an integrative actor of the family. It is seen that, children are used as the message of the ads by using cute ones in ads. All these states are interpreted and suggestions are provided in conclusions part of the study.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Television Commercials: Television companies which make money by selling advertising; the programs shown on commercial television.

Childhood: The period of somebody’s life when they are a child.

Representation: The description or portrayal of someone or something in a particular way or as being of a certain nature; (in some theories of perception) a mental state or concept regarded as corresponding to a thing perceived.

Advertising: The activity or profession of producing advertisements for commercial products or services; describe or draw attention to (a product, service, or event) in a public medium in order to promote sales or attendance.

Child: A young human who is not yet an adult; a son or daughter of any age; a person who is strongly influenced by the ideas and attitudes of a particular time or person.

Content Analysis: Analysis to determine the meaning, purpose, or effect of any type of communication, as literature, newspapers, or broadcasts, by studying and evaluating the details, innuendoes, and implications of the content, recurrent themes, etc.

Media: The main means of mass communication (especially television, radio, newspapers, and the Internet) regarded collectively; The main means of mass communication (broadcasting, publishing, and the Internet) regarded collectively.

Effie Awards Turkey: The Effie Awards are known by advertisers and agencies globally as the pre-eminent award in the industry, and recognize any and all forms of marketing communication that contribute to a brand's success. The Effie Awards were launched in 1968 by the New York American Marketing Association as an awards programs to honor the most effective advertising efforts. The award now honors all forms of effective marketing communications and the companies and individuals creating effective work on six continents and include Turkey over forty countries.

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