January 31st, 2014
Super Bowl ad blitz: Are kids vulnerable?
By James Steyer
This Sunday, my family will be among the 110 million people gathered in front of their TVs to watch the Super Bowl, and with ad revenue projected at $300 million, we can expect advertisers to be as outrageous as ever, with spots promoting junk food, alcohol and erectile dysfunction drugs and depicting violence, sex and gender stereotypes.
This said, TV ads—even during the Super Bowl—might be the least of parents’ concerns. Digital media has dramatically changed the advertising landscape, and includes immersive websites, “advergaming,” viral marketing, mobile ads, social media marketing and precise behavioral and location targeting. More than ever before, advertising and entertainment are inextricably linked. In many cases, the content is the ad, and this can be particularly confusing for children, who are less able to understand persuasive intent.