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The Nation Expanding

Document 2
The Child as Consumer

  Where children's TV programs do succeed for advertisers, they succeed with glory. Television, for one thing, has made brand—name buyers of children. What boy of fifteen years ago had the slightest idea who manufactured his cap pistol? Today he knows it's made "swell" by Mattel. What girl of ten years ago questioned the origin of her new doll? Today it's got to be Remco, or take it back, Daddy.

Through the use of television advertising, Mattel, which is a firm launched in a garage workshop twenty years ago, pushed its sales from $4,000,000 in 1954 to $22,000,000 in 1960. Remco entered television in 1955, and by 1958, despite a major plant expansion, it was unable to fill 40 per cent of the orders received. Maypo even conquered the child's traditional opposition to his outmeal through the use of TV commercials that insisted humorously that "cowboys like Maypo." Television actually has revolutionized the toy business. Everything once was geared to Christmas, and the year tailed off into incidental sales after that. Today the toys are advertised all year round and consequently they are sold all year round.

From Stan Opotowsky, TV: The Big Picture, New York: E.P. Dutton & Co., 1961, p. 166.

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Community Life Collection
SI Neg.# 89-5015
Museum Purchase, 1988


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