Posted on November 8th, 2011 in Parents Stories | Leave a comment

I have been wondering what moves us as human beings and children specifically.  We all have seen those Hallmark commercials that bring us to tears and make us want to pen a card to grandma immediately. There are also those army ads that make us want to stand up and put our hands on our hearts, and allow us the opportunity to take pride in our country and who we are.    But what about for children?  I don’t let my children watch much television, but I wonder about the commercials that make my children want to do more than eat a Happy Meal, or buy the latest toy.  Is there a commercial out there that makes my child want to give back to the world? To save someone?  To do something good? 

There are many children that WANT to act, that want to be apart of something bigger than themselves…but has the media capitalized on this?  There are Motivational Media Assemblies that go into schools and try to motivate the youth by using positive video clips assembled to get across a message to act, but what about the average child that doesn’t have those specific opportunities?   

In regards to commercials, Nike has always had some amazingly motivating commercials geared towards improving self-confidance, conquering your fears, becoming motivated to improve your physical health among other topics. One of their big pushes was in 1995 to promote female sports and competition.  Their commercial in 1995 featured girls of all ages and was emotional and filled with facts as to why you should participate in sports as a female, as well as why society should promote girls and sports. 

There is an Apple commercial that talks about “the crazy ones” which provides clips from people like Martin Luther King, Albert Einstein, Ghandi, among others that changed the way we think, changed the way we feel, as well as the way we view the world.  The message is really that for those that are crazy enough to think they can change the world, they are usually the ones that do! 

There is a commercial by Jennifer Connelly that shows what it would be like for us living in the modern world to go and get a glass a water as if we lived in a third world country.  Plus after all of the effort that went into a single glass of water, what it would look like with pollutants. It asked for help, and listed the charity. What a way to motivate children to get up and help other children around the world…..for a simple thing like a glass of water.

Starbucks had a great commercial during the holiday season about thinking about the world being connected, and helping save others by simply buying a cup of coffee. The way it was presented made you think about the world differently. It would be a very different place if we really thought that ALL of us were truly connected in one way or another. 

Dove has had a great ad campaign on motivating females to have better self confidance, and has had women of all ages and sizes appear on the commercial in their underwear, without make-up and has portrayed these things as beautiful.  They encourage you to go to their website where they have online toolkits on helping mothers and fathers work on their daughter’s self-esteem as well as girls helping themselves. 

Animal Planet had a whole campaign about if animals help save the planet, then why can’t we help save the planet for them?  They were humorous commercials that proved that anyone can recylce, reuse, among other simple things to help save our world, and the world in which the animals live, as well.  What a creative way to show children what they could do.

There are obviously many examples of how commercials provide us with more than just a sell job on the latest gadget. We can really learn from these as well, it is just a shame that they are not more frequent.

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