Elmo, Dora, Mickey and Pooh – the characters that appear on our boob tubes are often found running around the playground too. Try as we might to shield our innocent children from the images available on cable television, network TV commercials and online media, just take a walk outside and you are sure to be bombarded by characters and logos that look like they jumped right off the screen.
According to the Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, marketing directly to children has increased from $100 million in 1983 to more than $17 billion today. By the age of six months, a baby can form a mental image of a corporate logo or mascot, making them able to request those brands by the time they can speak. While wooden toys have increased in popularity due to their safer manufacturing processes, they have not outweighed the popularity of character-driven choices that flood the market. Do you try to shield your lil ones from commercial characters and logos?