On several occasions recently, my 5 year old has fallen prey to advertisements; leading me (and my wallet) to purchase various items that, while she enjoys very much, have caused her to make the shocking realization we all must face one day: what they say on t.v. isn’t always true.
Take for example the line of VIP Littlest Pet Shop toys. One day Aishtyn is perusing one of those little brochures, a mini-toy catalog if you will, that companies so thoughtfully include in the packaging of all their products. Bringing it over to me, she points and says, “Can I have one of these? I can go on-line with it!!!” I’m sitting there thinking, “how the heck does she even know what ‘go on-line’ means???” Yet before I know it, we (or, I should say she) owns 3 of the cute little critters (1 as a present for being the big sister, 1 for taking a week’s worth of eye medicine without fighting, and 1…I don’t remember what the other 1 was for). So, yes, she goes on-line with them, apparently there is an entire virtual world set up for the VIP’s and Aishtyn has a grand old time buying them clothes, choosing condos, and sending her animals to work in an ice cream shop. She really loves them, but has one terrible disappointment; in the ads, it is noted that you can “bring your VIP alive!” when you get them on-line. My sweet girl, bless her heart, sat her little stuffed monkey next to her at the computer, got logged in, and then waited….and waited. When my husband asked her what the problem was, she replied with a question of her own, “When is my monkey going to come alive?” Leading to a discussion of how alive in a virtual internet kind of way differs from alive in a breathing, jumping, swinging from the ceiling fan kind of way.
My daughter is on a steady diet of chicken nuggets, cheese quesadillas, crackers, and pasta (and that only in wheel or shell shape). Beverages consist of water, mass quantities of chocolate milk, and sweet tea. Trying to get her to eat a vegetable is laughable and fruit, not much easier – so when she came to me saying she wanted me to buy her some Juicy Juice, I was more than happy to oblige. What marketing scheme was it that so successfully appealed to this 5 year old’s cerebral center of consumerism? It wasn’t a popular cartoon character or special toy…it was a basic appeal to her ego. Apparently, as seen here in their commercial, “Juicy Juice is the very best juice for the very best kids.” Aishtyn, of course has no problem acknowledging the fact that she is among the very best of kids, so clearly she deserves the very best of juices! Upon arriving home with a jug of the bestest juice, Aishtyn takes a big swig, swishes like an elite wine tester then remarks, “It just tastes like juice!” Thankfully, she still deemed it worthy of her superior self and drained the glass.
While I am sure these are not the last of the disillusionments my daughter must face, they are endearing as some of her first.