Pro. Kathy L. Rowley
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
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
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).
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.