Thursday, 2 December 2010

Cars Are Cars All Over the World

a00795 - Monster truckAfter a year or two (or three) of a break we finally had ourselves a Skype video call with my Israeli family this weekend. For obvious reasons the three year old of the house was the main feature, and he – liking that extra bit of attention provided by several new voices (alas, setting up a worthy picture of their side is too much for my family) – brought some of his toys for those new attention providers to admire.
One such toy was what my son calls his “monster truck”: a four wheel drive car with big wheels. Upon showing it to the other side of the world they asked what car it is; he answered “monster truck”, and they replied “is it a Honda?”
Other brands were mentioned, which was when it dawned on me: my son has no idea what Honda is. Nor does he know about any other major car manufacturer. Come to think of it, other than “Aldi” my son is completely unaware of any brands.
I realized that this brand unawareness goes hand in hand with the way I aspire to raise my child. Just as I am looking to raise him god free / religiously neutral so he can make his own mind about these things when he is capable of making his own mind about these things, we have been shielding our son from ads or anything that might push him to prefer one brand or one product over another for any unreasonable reason. Our son is at a unique point where, other than his daily exposure to the people in his life, his brain is yet to be brainwashed.
Obviously that won’t last long. At one point or another peer pressure will take over and he will ask to watch stuff on commercial TV. He will ask for that brand of shoes his friends wear and he will ask for an iPod/iPhone, just like his friends’. When that will happen I don’t think we will have much choice on the matter, but till then I see no reason to contaminate his mind with branding. I am actually envious of my son, living his life without the burden of advertising’s toll: a pure and ripe brain.

Photo by M.Peinado

No comments: