Carina has been typing on the internets before there was a www in front of everything. This is why she’s cranky and wants to know when you’ll get off her lawn. She resides in a hopelessly outdated home in the Mountain West with a mathematician and three children hell-bent on destruction. Her laundry is not done, but her Twitter is totally up to date. Carina does not have a Tumblr, because get serious.

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Commercial Brats

Kids in commercials are nothing new; they’re been tapped since the dawn of advertising to sell everything from cereal to cars. But these days I’ve noticed something almost completely intolerable: the bratty, rude, snotty kid.

This is the child who turns up her nose because the fish sticks her mother served her are from minced fish and not whole fish. Show me one real kid who knows the difference.

Most recently, I’ve noticed Toyota’s Highlander kid. He’s the one who sympathizes with other kids because their parents drive crummy cars and are totally uncool. The commercial ends with this bon mot, “Just because you’re a parent, doesn’t mean you have to be lame.”

I am not cool with that. Not even a little.

If my kid pulled that kind of entitled nonsense on me, I’d be furious. Know what my kid didn’t do? Work a day in his life, let alone contribute one red cent to a car payment. He doesn’t get an opinion on what music I play in the car, let alone what kind of car I’m driving. He gets to be happy, thrilled, and grateful that he has any kind of reliable transportation–and that I’m willing to drive his spoiled bum anywhere.

Am I the only one who abhors a bratty kid in a commercial? It turns me right off. I’m less willing to purchase a product from a company using that kind of gimmick.

But what about you? Am I just overreacting?

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Comments (12)

  1. Laura 04/26/2011 at 7:20 pm

    I agree, I would never even think of buying a Toyota Highlander and the main reason is that advertisement so obnoxious.

  2. Jared Garrett 03/28/2011 at 5:18 pm

    I drive a Toyota Corolla, but this kid makes me want to drive it into a concrete wall. Totally a turn off. The kid’s snarky jibes set off so many alert and discipline bells in me that I have to leave the room or turn off the TV.


  3. Layne 03/02/2011 at 12:30 pm

    Bless you, Carina. When I saw the headline for this post, I was wondering if you were going to mention the Toyota commercials! I totally agree with you – you’re not overreacting at all. This kind of marketing doesn’t just give kids license to be bratty, it implies that our worthiness is attached to the brand of vehicle we drive. I guess the marketing team at Toyota never got past junior high.

  4. Amy W 03/02/2011 at 7:31 am

    I totally agree. That little boy has almost a bully attitude and I thought that is what we are supposed to be vigilant about.

    Commercials are not the only ones with the bratty kids, they are littered throughout most TV programs, and it is so frustrating. When our kids watch TV they have the wrong ideas about how they should act – what happened to Leave It To Beaver and My Three Sons?

    I love my DVR and parental controls on my TV. The only problem with the parental controls are that G shows have the same brattiness.

  5. Casey 02/28/2011 at 2:45 pm

    You are so right on! But please go one step further and notify any companies whose ads offend you – once they know that people are incensed with their ad direction, they’ll change! (Look up their contact info online and send them a note.) I’ve sent similar notes in the past, and have always been contacted and thanked for my input.

  6. Christy 02/28/2011 at 12:47 pm

    Great post! I hope Madison Avenue is listening to these conversations:)

  7. Raejean 02/24/2011 at 3:13 pm

    Thanks for reminding me how much I love my DVR so I can fast forward through the commercials!

  8. Robyn P. 02/22/2011 at 8:57 pm

    I agree. There is a trash bag commercial where the kids are criticizing the way the parents are cleaning the kitchen. I keep wondering whose brilliant idea that commercial was? Who are they selling to the kids or the parents? I think if they really wanted me to buy that brand they would have the kids so excited to help out with taking out the trash instead of being snotty and not lifting a finger to help in their home!!!

  9. Candy 02/22/2011 at 8:44 pm

    I am sooooo in your corner! That Toyota commercial absolutely shocks me…with all the conversations around bullying, I was floored to see it.
    I am definitely with you, portraying children in that light doesn’t do anything but make me notice what brand(s) not to purchase!

  10. Erin Oltmanns 02/22/2011 at 1:56 pm

    In addition to the “bratty kid”, I’d like to see marketers get rid of the “nagging wife” and the “incapable husband”.

    While we’re at it, can we get rid of the idea that the only thing your woman wants is a cheesy diamond necklace fashioned into the shape of a heart?

    Grrrrrr! Why, yes, I’m 38 weeks pregnant…why do you ask?

    • Candy 02/22/2011 at 8:45 pm

      LOL about the heart necklace!!!! I’d much rather have a camera accessory! 🙂

  11. Amy Allen Johnson 02/22/2011 at 12:18 pm

    I felt just the same with that Toyota commercial. Kids come by these behaviors waaay too easily as it is, let alone emphasize them in commercials. Uggh.