Wednesday, March 12, 2008


Advertising and marketing is a funny business. Your entire job is to make someone want to buy or do something even if they had no idea about that thing five seconds ago. My kids are pretty sheltered from commercials. They see the few that are at the start of Sesame Street and at the beginning of the occasional DVD that they get to watch, but for the most part their lives are commercial free... or so I thought.

Last October when we were at my parent's house we viewed the movie Cars. We thought it would be a movie that Evan and Harry would love, after all it had cars, cars and more cars in it. They would not sit through the movie and chose to leave the room and play with their toys. Time passes and now it is Christmas time. I bought them a large pack of Little Golden Books at Costco. I had no real control about the books that were in it, but after a quick glance there seemed nothing too objectionable. It had two newer character books (which I was not thrilled with, but not annoyed enough to pass up on the chance to get a great deal on the books) and a bunch of the character license free classics.

(Begin Tangent) Ok some of those classic stories were actually downright disturbing when I sat down and read them with the boys. Tootle in particular was almost sad if you thought about it too much. The poor little train just wanted to play in the meadow but was forced back on the tracks to the prearranged life of servitude (one could even say slavery) that had been set forth for him at birth. Why couldn't the sentient train have a chance to have a little fun off of the tracks? He was not harming anyone. (End Tangent)

One of the character books featured Tow Mater from the movie Cars. For some reason only known to Evan this became one of his favorites. He would beg to have me read it over and over again. He would constantly repeat phrases from the book. Now when he is out and about and sees anything related to the movie he goes nuts. I bought him a t-shirt with Mater and McQueen on it and he went nuts. I bet if he were to see the movie now he would be glued to the screen.

It just amazes me how Evan's attitude has changed and how omnipresent advertisements really are. I am going to have a big job ahead of me when they start understanding the concept of money and how to spend it. Maybe by then I will have found a nice cozy island in the middle of nowhere.


Mean Mommy said...

I thought the same thing about Tootles when I reread it as an adult. I kept wondering if I'd confused it with some other train book I remembered as a kid.

I don't get too many gimmes from the kids over commercials, but I sure have to fight them over displays in the store. Darn that packaging!

*Michelle* said...

I think it has to be mind control! Seriously.... the boy was on a kick with that Tow Mater & the Ghost Light book for awhile & it's soooo stupid-- I hated reading it. He loved it though, so I read it a lot! As for Tootle, it's so indicative of the time when it was written. In a not so subtle way, it's trying to instill obedience & a sense of "knowing your place" into the reader. It is sad, you're right. It's also VERY long & wordy & I've been known to skip over large parts while reading it just to get through the darned thing! LOL. I'm very much looking forward to reading "girl" books-- I think I've read every truck, car, tractor, bulldozer & dinosaur book every written! :)

Tama said...

Let me know if you find that island. I want to come with! My kids know what money is and that there is never enough to buy everything they want, but that knowlege doesn't stop the begging and pouting.

Karen (Pediascribe) said...

One of dh's favorite books growing up was Tootle. So of course, we had to read it to the kids. I HATED it!

But if it's any consolation, you know Dr. Mike from the podcast and he is not a "stay on the tracks and follow the party line no matter what" kinda guy.

So apparently it didn't harm his psyche. :)

Damselfly said...

Before I worry about Fly, I have to worry about myself. I am *so* subject to the power of suggestion!

chelle said...

Like you we are a commercial free zone. Yet there is always that sneaky one getting in. Oddly it is Dora or Princesses that get to the girl and she in reality is not that big into either. It is weird.

The baby is all awe and wonder then goes back to playing.

Gabriela said...

I know what you mean-we miss a ton of that living overseas, but the second we land in the States my kids are all, "hey, I want that cereal I saw on TV!!!" Dangerous stuff.