Young Consumers and the Power of Persuasion

As old generations have died away new generations have poked their way into the world. As man evolves with new generations so do their lifestyles. A few decades ago children would ask their parents for the necessities they need and be okay with what they had. Now it’s backwards. More and more kids are demanding to have the latest technologies and the latest gadgets rather than being comfortable with the resources and materials their parents provide. Children are taking control rather than their parents taking control. Children are becoming the parents and the parents are becoming the children. The parents are doing what their children want them to do and not how it should be done. What causes children to be obnoxious and do everything possible in order to get what they want?

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In the essay “Kid Kustomers”, by Eric Schlosser, found in SIGNS of LIFE in the USA, by Sonia Maasik and Jack Solomon, the author talks about how advertisement drives these children to have “pester power”, in other words the power children possess the power to get something they want by means of begging (222). He also says that as more children are watching television they don’t realize that they are being brainwashed into believing everything they see and wanting it. He also goes on to talk about the different methods kids (as he refers to them) have to obtain what they want. Eric’s point throughout the essay is that it’s horrible to compensate for the needs kid’s have. Eric’s essay is effective because although the essay is very short, Eric does an outstanding job explaining the methods kids use to persuade parents, an excellent job giving more than one reason why kids are the markets best consumers, and informing the reader why this crisis is occurring.

The author did an excellent job explaining the whole concept of how kids are using different methods to persuade parents to buy them what they want.

A pleading nag is one accompanies by repetitions of words like “please” or “mom, mom, mom.” A persistent nag involves constant requests for the coveted product and may include the phrase “I’m gonna ask just one more time.” Forceful nags are extremely pushy and many include subtle threats, like “Well, then, I’ll go ask Dad.” Demonstrative nags are the most high-risk, often characterized by full-blown tantrums in public places, breath-holding, tears, a refusal to leave the store. Sugar-coated nags promise affection in return for a purchase and may rely on seemingly heartfelt declarations like “You are the best dad in the world.” Threatening nags are youthful forms of blackmail, vows of eternal hatred and of running away if something isn’t bought. Pity nags claim the child will be heartbroken, teased, or socially stunted if the parent refuses to buy a certain item. (224)

The explanation the author gives really makes the reader capture the purpose for writing the essay. The good explanations that are given throughout the essay make the whole reading a lot better to understand. By adding these explanations it won’t leave the reader thinking about a main point the author stated a while back, while reading new information and going ahead in the essay.

Eric also does a good job explaining other reasons why kids are being “Kustomers”. This is excellent because he is not saying that only one-reason makes the cause and effect plot to show up. The author says, “The Internet has become another powerful tool for assembling data about children”(225). The author is informing the reader that advertisements is not the only source out there brainwashing kids brain into buying the latest clothes, gadgets, and other senseless items, but also the Internet. With more reasons to show why kids are becoming the ideal customers it can give the reader some information on how this is affecting families.

This essay is very informative because it gives the reader information about how the cause of kid consumption can affect their lives and families.

During the course of a year, he or she watches more than thirty thousand TV commercials. Even the nation’s youngest children are watching a great deal of television. About one-quarter of American children between the ages of two and five have a TV in their room. (226)

By giving the reader information it’s engaging the reader to think about his or her own family (kids) and to also think about their family (brothers and sisters, cousins). The audience, given by the information given in the reading, is not for kids who like shopping, but for adults who are having trouble and are looking for a solution or to be informed that compensating their children is actually harming them.

The essay itself is a good informative essay giving the reader an insight into a problem, if not a major problem, that is occurring in our generation. Although the essay is very short, Eric does an outstanding job explaining the methods kids use to persuade parents, an excellent job giving more than one reason why kids are the markets best consumers, and informing the reader why this crisis is occurring. The grade Eric’s essay “Kid Kustomers” is an “-A” because it could have been longer, but the author used evidence and information to back-up his statements and ideas. Eric’s use of information and the interpretation of that information into his worked really made the essay run smoothly.

Works Cited

Schlosser, Eric. “Kid Kustomers.” SIGNS of LIFE in the USA. Maasik, Sonia and Jack Solomon, eds. Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s, 2012. 222-226. Print.

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