What's the impact of advertising on young kids?

Advertisers know that the earlier kids learns about a brand, the more likely they'll be to buy the product later (or beg their parents to buy it). Marketing to preschoolers mostly entails commercials on television (or streaming services), since television is still the dominant medium for young children. Here are some of the key methods advertisers use to target young kids:

Hooking them young. Getting the product in front of a target audience as much as possible strengthens a company's ability to capture consumers "from the cradle to the grave." Think cartoon characters on diapers.

Dividing and targeting genders. Brands try to establish a preference for gendered toys as early as possible. The sooner your child has a desire for "boy" toys or "girl" toys, the sooner he or she becomes a customer. That opens the door for even more gendered products.  

Developing taste preferences. Junk-food marketing to kids is a $2 billion-per-year industry. Cartoon characters appear on cereal boxes, toys appear inside boxes, and characters shill for brands on TV -- for example, Mr. and Mrs. Potato Head advertise potato chips. And it works

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