No matter the economic situation, the advertising and marketing machine rolls onward and as it rolls it is reaching a younger and younger audience. Barbie has her own credit card and Monopoly has gone away from cash to using credit card like cards. Dave Ramsey would be ashamed.
Beyond the marketing, psycologists have been taking note of how these trends to younger subjects are likely to have long lasting trends…
Advertisers recognise that brand loyalties and consumer habits formed when children are young and vulnerable will be carried through to adulthood.
This trend to younger audiences for marketing is not only because of the financial abilities of today’s youngsters but because they are holding onto their parent’s purse strings as well as their own. Besides that, these kids are forming habits that will last well into adulthood.
According to Direct Marketing magazine, by the age of eight children make most of their own buying decisions. Modern children can often recognise brands and status items by the age of 3 or 4, before they can even read. One study found that 52 percent of 3 year olds and 73% of 4 year olds “often or almost always” asked their parents for specific brands. Advertisers recognise that brand loyalties and consumer habits formed when children are young and vulnerable will be carried through to adulthood. Kids `R’ Us president, Mike Searles, says “If you own this child at an early age… you can own this child for years to come.”
Kids will definitely pick up on what they’re taught whether it’s good habits or bad. This applies to lots of things including financial responsibility.
Along with the toys that teach about endless credit, there are other resources out there that teach parents and in turn kids how to be good with money.
According to a Visa survey, parents are turning their eye to the wisdom of teaching about good financial management. In fact financial topics are starting parent/teen conversations even more than drugs or sex:
Money management is a higher priority among parents, according to a new Visa USA survey. Eighty-five percent of 1,000 parents of high-school students said they will be discussing it with them, ahead of other important topics, drugs (80 percent) and sex (79 percent).
- Create a Dream Jar for them to save up toward a goal or “dream”,
- Start their experience with Saving, giving and even selling (on eBay)
- Develop negotiation skills from a young age
- Don’t be a human ATM machine.