Changes in Children’s Culture as Consumers

Can you see a change in how children view products nowadays compared to our generation? With the amount of exposure children have to the media, are they able to differentiate between the programme they watch and an advertisement? I have a lot of questions, being a communicator, marketer and especially, a mother.

You can see evidence of these questions now in the run-up to Christmas. The mad dash to get the presents, shelling out the money for the top-class gifts. But in reality, do they really need them or have they been told by the media and peer pressure that they do? This is how children’s culture is today. A fast moving, commercialised, digital age for the “digital natives” (Prensky, 2001).

I am hoping to question how the change in children’s culture (particularly of children before the ages of 13) has shifted the strategic planning of marketers in publishing, when looking at children as consumers. The market for this age was always a large one, but has changed radically in areas of how to market a book. It is no longer just a book, it’s a brand, it’s a concept, and it’s a digital tool. Children always liked the idea of a story, but what about when they finished the book?

I will also look into the idea of how this shift has filtered into the learning environment of primary schools. With more children reading from a tablet or laptop, has hyper reading effected their cognitive skills when it comes to learning?

Maeve Ahern

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