About a month ago, Electronic Action (EA) games released an ad called “Your Mom Hates This” for Deadspace 2, the follow-up to its graphic alien adventure video game, Dead Space:
The ad caused a bit of a stir. Common Sense Media, for example, asked the Entertainment Software Ratings Board (ESRB), which gave the game a Mature rating, to take action against EA for an ad which they felt went too far in targeting children below the recommended age for the Mature rating. ESRB’s president, Patricia Vance, responded with “Surely EA is not the first company, nor will it be the last, to gin up interest in its product by conveying the notion that ‘the older generation just doesn’t get it, so it has to be cool.'”
It is with this specific point that LAMPlatoon takes issue concerning “Your Mom Hates This.” As noted in the video, advertisers actively work to drive a wedge between parents and youth in their marketing. By placing products within a ‘teen zone,’ advertisers are taking advantage of the rebellious instinct present in most kids and teens who are growing up and want space from their parents. Associating Deadspace 2 with that zone is a way to position the game as a must-have for any teen looking to agitate their parents.
Advertisers and marketers are paid to create desire for a product, and that requires tapping in to the emotional core of its target demographic. While we at The LAMP agree with Vance that this marketing technique is not going to disappear, we still want people–especially the targeted youth–to understand how they are being manipulated. The next time you find yourself wanting something you’ve seen advertised, whether it’s a soft drink or a pair of shoes, ask yourself why.
If you’re interested in shining a light on other persuasive techniques you see in commercials, email us today to join LAMPlatoon and take action. Next week, it could be your video featured in this space!