Monday, September 30, 2002
How do you explain marketing to a seven-yr-old?
That's my task with Trace, trying to free his mind a little from the commercialization of his young life. Everything is Nicktoons or Disney or G-cube or ChalkZone. I'm okay with most of that, but then there's the product tie-ins, "collecting" cards at CartoonNetwork.com, gaining points by playing the games from Nick, getting codes on the back of cereal to play some otehr game at Postopia, etc. He's having fun "using them," and in the meantime he's being used for his demographic appeal. Help!
The only thing I have going for me as a parent is the 'net's provision for logging in. Children can't give pertinent information to anyone online, and even signing up for a screenname and password means he has to go through me. That's cool, but also a burden on him that he thinks is unfair and unnecessary. It's tough explaining that we are trying to protect him from real people who do really bad things to little kids, and that we want to protect him from money-grubbing toy company who make neato toys while taking money from the parents of little kids. Same difference sometimes...