Creative directors understand the positive psychological effect that adorable children have on their audiences and tap into the benefits of using this form of imagery. After all, not many people can resist from falling for the pull of the captivating innocence these angelic faces possess. Hence, babies are often featured in advertisements to promote a product of service even if the product and service is not associated with it. Toy, diaper and cereal advertisements are acceptable, but the companies start crossing a line when kids start being used for advertisements in manufacturing, real estate, financial services, consumer durables and fast food chain sectors (the recently launched McDonalds ad might give an impression to a kid that he only way to show that you love your mother is to give her a day off and buy her lunch). Children are not old enough to make a conscious decision as to what they are endorsing and even if they have an opinion now they might subscribe to it as they get older and learn the gimmicks of the trade world. Also, involving kids in advertisement campaigns can put them under a lot of stress as the responsibility of lakhs and crores of rupees rests on their frail shoulders. Exposing kids to the media industry at a tender age might not be beneficial for them in the long run. The peer pressure phenomena also comes to the limelight in this case; seeing kids their age get famous might lead to irritation and inferiority complex among other kids.
It is the moral responsibility of ad-makers to be careful as to how and in what scenario do they portray such impressionable kids. And, as far as parents are concerned, it would be best for them not to get carried away by the lure of fame and some quick bucks, as most of them tend to. They must remember that they are the elders and are expected to make informed decisions focussing on the welfare of their kid.
Surf Excel is seen as the product that kick-started this trend with the tagline “Daag Acche Hain”. Here is a list of advertisements that one should go definitely go through: