Programming Your Child To Buy Cheap Sneaks

September 16th, 2010  |  by  |  Published in Uncategorized  |  2 Comments

Your child's TV programmer?

Your child's TV programmer?

I just recently broke down and got cable, which means that now the television is on in my house twenty-four blissful hours a day instead of just twenty-three and a half. This also means that JP’s viewing options have significantly expanded beyond just PBS Kids (Word World!) to include ESPN (I wish), Cartoon Network, and Nickelodeon. Which is why I was a bit annoyed, but not entirely surprised, to come across this bit in the Times’s “Media Decoder” blog, about a new Nicktoons show, “Zevo-3” brought to you by the fine people at Skechers Entertainment.

Let’s put aside the idea that Skechers–a shitty shoe company–has a fucking entertainment division. The world needs a shoe company pumping out content like I need..well…uh…someone help me out here…like something I don’t really need.

But this is the country we live in, the world we populate, and there is a grid from which one can choose to unplug, for those of us who really don’t like commercialism and indoor plumbing. Shoe companies sell shoes, any way they can, and I’ll just have to get used to it.

But then you read what the show is all about, and all that Marxism stuff starts sounding good again, what with the show trials and the backyard smelters and the parading teachers around in the street and whipping them (look it up):

A problem with the show…is that the characters are known to children solely as representatives of Skechers shoes because they have appeared only in Skechers spots, comic books and other marketing materials. Another problem…is that the animated stars of the series — named Elastika, Kewl Breeze and Z-Strap — embody shoe lines, making their very appearance onscreen the equivalent of an ad for those shoes.

Really? (don’t you just love the Old Gray Ladies’ version of underselling?) This is bad enough that I may just have to start putting JP in Weejuns.


  1. Ryan says:

    September 16th, 2010at 11:59 am(#)

    This is madness, next thing you know you will be telling me something even crazier like, George Lucas only made the Star Wars prequels so he could sell a bunch of toys!

  2. TorontoDad says:

    September 16th, 2010at 1:26 pm(#)

    We had restricted our toddler’s TV watching to PBS and Nick jr (Wonder Pets!) while in the city, so it was quite a shock to us to see how blatantly commercial and violent Nickelodeon and Disney were when we would spent weekends at our basic-cable lake house. And this even though I was one of millions of kids who watched 1960’s Saturday morning cartoons and was perpetually bombarded with Tom & Jerrry violence and toy/cereal commercials. I know we shouldn’t be surprised, but still, it was jarring after having been sequestered for a while.

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