Gee, How Convenient
Ann Whitehurst

I took my two kids shopping today at Target for a few things: diapers, a blow-up kiddie pool, and a few other small items. As I was heading down the aisle where the pools were, my 2-yr old son yelled out "crackers!" (Or his word for crackers, that is) I was there some toy that looks like crackers? Then, of course, I saw that Target had conveniently placed a corner display of goldfish crackers at the front of the toy aisle. I could have, and should have, just told my son that we would get crackers later, but I gave in and gave him a box. (I don't always give in to these requests, but I did today.) Although it is my fault for giving in, I felt really suckered by Target...if I want crackers, I go to the freaking cracker aisle! But in this case, Target didn't care what "I" wanted. The display was almost empty, so I'm obviously not the only victim.

I have always been aware of these types of product placements, but for some reason today was the first time that I really felt reeled in by one. As an adult, I can exhibit self-control when confronted by candy at check-out, etc., but my son obviously hasn't developed that quite yet. (Luckily, we haven't given him candy before, so the candy at check-out doesn't phase him.)

But, though I lost the goldfish battle, I did win one. My son insisted on having a package of plastic chips, which we found in the school supply aisle. I'm certain they would all end up behind the refrigerator or in the fireplace within a day. I didn't think 3.99 was worth that. So I let him hold them for a while, then I told him we had to put them back and that he could put them back on the hook all by himself...getting to do things by himself is exciting for him, so instead of taking them away from him and making him freak out, he gladly hung them back himself.

With a 2-yr old and a 7-week old, I'm sure the worst is yet to come regarding advertising and product placement geared toward kids.