After meeting with Steve Speed regarding my current ideas for my project before we left for the Christmas break, he mentioned the idea of using consumerism as a base for my project, to underpin my idea and concepts better. I then decided to research into the Disney culture and consumerism within children, and how things sells if they are represented by a brand or stereotype.
Disney is a favourite for a lot of younger children, as well as the older generation, and the store can mark up their prices because of the brand; they know it sells. Children are driven by this desire to want and apparently need certain items if they are represented by their favourite television show or film, especially Disney. Fairytales from the Grimm Brothers have been adopted by Disney, and made out to be glamorous, beautiful stories about gorgeous princesses and courageous princes, and the quest to save one another. However, in the time when they were originally published, they focussed upon issues such as kidnapping, abandonment, murder and slander. For example, Cinderella is singled out and mistreated buy her own family because of the way she looks, Alice in Wonderland wanders off away from her family and becomes lost in a mysterious world that is full of strange and weird creatures and scenarios, and Snow White is poisoned by an apple off a wicked witch who wants her dead. All of these fairytales have a storyline of someone being mistreated and sad. However, the Disney versions of these fairytales hide this fact, and present us with a dumbed down, lovely version, which disguises all the bad parts and presents us with the good.
Lets begin with some facts sourced from Investopedia.com. Walt Disney is one of the most powerful companies in the who world, especially in the field of entertainment. It runs films, ice shows, stores, theme parks and television channels. There are not many children who live in the world who have not heard of Disney. The Disney empire is worth over $60 billion dollars, and rising every day. Every day, a quarter of a million guest make their way to the various theme parks that they own, a mass transit system that consists of more than '270 buses, 12 monorail trains and a fleet of boats and water taxis' (Theme Park Tourist, 2014).
"Children are a captive audience: The average American child watches an estimate between 25,000 to 40,000 television commercials per year. In the UK, it is about 10,000" (Global Issues, 2010). Children are influenced by what they see in advertisements, television programmes and in magazines. My work is going to now look into advertisement culture, and I am going to create some food photography and make them into advertisements for supermarkets as a response to this issue.
Anup Shah. (2010). Children as Consumers. Available: http://www.globalissues.org/article/237/children-as-consumers. Last accessed 24th December 2014.
Nick Sim. (2014). 10 Mind Boggling Statistics About Walt Disney World.Available: http://www.themeparktourist.com/features/20140214/16276/10-mind-boggling-statistics-about-walt-disney-world?page=1. Last accessed 24th December 2014.