Rhetorical analysis of “Kid Kustomers” by Eric Schlosser




Pro. Kathy L. Rowley

Eng 201

July 23, 14

Rhetorical analysis of “Kid Kustomers” by Eric Schlosser

In “kid kustomers,” Eric illustrates using various examples used by advertisers in targeting

children in business. He uses various quotations from other authors and experts to support their

facts to show the emotional position though variation of degrees. It is worth to note that, he

explores rhetorical strategy as a device to make readers accept his arguments.

To begin with, Schlosser’s “Kid Kustomers” outlines his facts in a systematic logical approach.

He explores this through explanation through use of transitional statements to take readers to thje

next point throughout the essay. The essay begins by elaborating why advertisers target children.

The visible transitional statement makes it clear that the motives of the advertisers are

straightforward from the excerpt he says, “Get kids to nag their parents and nag them well”

(223). The author goes ahead to explain how the advertisers uses different ways to know children

likes (224). Eric systematically elaborates how the advertisers succeed in their motives through

use of Internet. He finalizes by transitioning through making claims of the enomous increasing

importance of the social media mainly television and Internet as crucial approaches in

advertising (225).

Eric uses rhetorical approach in the kid customers through his survey findings from the journal

of the American Medical Association, through his findings he brings up James U. McNeal, that



is considered the leading authority on children advertising (223). After his business analysis, he

also uses psychological experts and the president of youth market System consulting besides the

author to show what kids want and buy (223). The rhetorical approach is also visible through his

focus on the rules of the advertisers through information got from federal investigations and the

federal trade commission laying emphasis on Michael pertschuk and the chairperson.

It is worth to note that Eric presents Pertschuks argument as a positive issue that need children to

be shielded away from advertising that takes advantage of their vulnerability; that clearly shows

the believes that the government planned about marketing in children (225). It is rhetorical to see

how men and women use emotional appeals but they latter rely on liberal move. In the article,

Schlosser infuses “kid customers”, all the way from the beginning. It is evident from the first

paragraph entails the tactics advertisers’ uses sweet names that are appealing to the children

hence their main target in their branding are children making them famous before finding a name

(222). From the second paragraph, he highlights the dangers of the advertisements from a study

that identified Joe Camel who is familiar as Mickey Mouse (223). He identifies the existing

difference between the two and a flashing sign is the available difference that provokes to an

emotional response. Additionally, he makes a citation from another study that found Budweiser

advertisement rated as the best kids, advertisement (223).

From the article, it is evident that Eric Schlosser applies rhetoric strategy through using words

that intestinally bring a negative light on the various activities of advertising companies on

children. From example from the passage “Market researchers analyze children’s artwork, hire

children to run focus groups, stage slumber parties and then question children into the night.

They send cultural anthropologists into homes, stores, fast food restaurants, and other places



where kids like to gather, quietly and surreptitiously observing the behavior of prospective

customers”. (224)

Eric uses phrases that create a real picture of various advertisers laying the children to answer

their questions and building spy on them for research. He uses the word “they” repeatedly to

bring the main fact through organizing, analyzing and staging. In addition they also send an

anthropological message besides, studying and fantasizing children lives and lastly, they apply

the research results in the advertisements with the design products (224). Eric points out the

findings on regarding the percentage of those advertisers who requested additional personal

information from the children. He explores that in the year 1998, 89 percent of the ad agencies

requested the information of parents (225).

He makes quotation basing on the McDonald’s website claiming him as the great authority, from

the quote “Today, with the children’s Online privacy Protection Act it is not visible, but to Eric,

he explores emotional implication but there was still no change as the advertisers continued

doing the wrongs even though they are barred. The choice of words that Eric uses has a pivotal

role in inciting emotional responses from his readers. Previously, there was a ban against

children advertising that was backed up by several groups that were made up of teachers, parents

and pediatricians, but unfortunately, other groups attacked it, concerning the broadcasting and

children’s product manufacturers (225).

Another rhetorical approach is the way Schlosser takes his pain to make arguments that the ban

was actually defeated immediately the FTC drooped in April 1981 after the president’s

inauguration (225). However, he fails to produce links about the information with the ban, but



through the statements, it is much easier to gauze that through the president’s election the policy

was reversed and FTC collapsed.

In the final paragraph of the article, Schlosser uses rhetorical approach by using an emotional

plea to enable the readers to make considerations regarding children market. He uses various

examples statically to show the magnitude of how advertising targets children besides the

information on the television and the much they watch television. He gives an erstimation

whereby thirty thousand programs are commercialized (226).













Works Cited

Schlosser, Eric. “Kid Kustomers.” 2001. Signs of Life in the U.S.A.: Readings on Popular

Culture for Writers. By Sonia Maasik and J. Fisher Solomon. 6th ed. New York, NY:

Bedford/St. Martins, 2009. 222-26. Print.

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