Have you seen how Toyota is marketing one its mini-vans?  Talk about stereotypes, and a sore attempt at rap.

Ads like this disturb me.  It’s a staunch reminder of the power of advertising and how it seriously reinforces the values all of us are “supposed “to have.  Advertising has staggering statistics: the average city-dweller is exposed to 5,000 advertising messages a day, the average household watches more than ..

..eight hours of television per day and 65 percent of people say they are constantly bombarded with advertising. In this ad’s case, it reinforces the perfect little family = mom, dad, the little boy and girl (god forbid one child or even kids of the  same gender), and all the things we’re supposed to do as parents, not to mention parents modeling not caring much about gas consumption–it’s selling pronatalism + consumption + don’t worry there’ll always be enough oil so keep a guzzlin.  It is also disturbing that most of the youtube comments Love the ad. And the ad goes further with more videos taking us into the lives of this “perfect” happy mini van family.

What is at the source of perpetuating the perfect child-centric family and ads that represent it? Powerful pronatalist values.  Then add the promotion of consumption.  They may be out there, so point me to them, but where are the car ads with hot new hybrids (and hopefully soon electric cars) with happy couples of all races and no kids?  To see these kind of ads, market research results need to be different and show we want to see more than the perfect nuclear family when being pitched to sell products.  At least the idea of not having children by choice has to be more fully accepted.  Seeing ads like “the swagger wagon”  keeps me motivated to continue to try and find ways to push not just tolerance of the childfree life, but acceptance of it.

What kind of ads concern you? Bug you? Get you going?

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