Colors are lucid representation of our inner personalities, colors are chosen by moods and personality. Colors have an emotional attachment on human beings, most especially children. The reason being that children are usually fascinated and preferential when it comes to preference in colors. They have a different way of perceiving colors unlike adults. Colors are hard wired closely tied to every humanly possible decision we make. Colors have wormed their way into an instinctive part of us, almost like our second nature. Oftentimes, we unconsciously no matter how hard boiled an individual is, he or she still deters feelings when the subject of color preferences comes into question.
The impact of television advertising on its viewers cannot be measured to any other media, this medium is common and effective due to its audio-visual functions, which appeals to viewers. Advertising has a purpose which is done to create awareness to a large audience by being creative and at the same time passing the intended message to the audience. Television is seen as a compulsory household device. Advertisers employ the strategy of using catchy adverts that appeals the sight, memory and emotions of the children. First, does advertising affect children’s commercial recall and product preferences? When parents get to see these adverts, they tend to purchase that product due to the information heard and its gender attachment.
The APA task force on advertising and children posits that product preferences affect children’s product purchase requests and that these requests do influence parents’ purchasing decisions. Most kids have a one-way perspective of colors by associating themselves to a colour depending on the influence of their guardian or parent’s knowledge of such colors. Now the seeming question is how the mentality of gender specific colour was coined? Cutting deep into research, color studies over the years posits that the favorite colors for boys and girls as opposed popular belief, were pink for boys due to its semblance of calmness and blue for girls because of its royalty presence which in turn meant that girls were a symbol of royalty. Colors are carefully picked as it has a lot of meaning and emotional attachment to people, color sometimes tells the kind of person you are, it sends a message to people around you. Your choice of color tells on your environment and background. It is noticed that children love bright colors and are likely to pick from them as their favorite with no sentiments attached to any color as children have more intense reaction to colors than adults. These colors have this significant role it plays on every child’s mind and adults all over the world, which now seem to be a prerequisite of been a girl or boy powered by alluring advertisement and media messages intended to reach their audience, the children with the respective color. Parents should consider the influence of advertising in their various lives and take it seriously so as to protect them from unwanted commercial influence.
Colors are deepening holes in societal constructs. (Glick ; Fiske, 1996) stated that stereotyping remains an insidious societal problem, and clear efforts to promote gender equality have been rewarded with a reduction in people’s tolerance of sexism. (frassanito & pettorini, 2008; Hunn & Kaiser, 2001; Paoletti & Kregloh, 1989) states that pink and blue tones are commonly associated with sexes, a colour-gender linkage that has been operating since middle of the last century and is ubiquitous from infancy. Children are moved by what they see and advertisers frequently fixates a particular motive colored it involuntarily sips into their subconscious. The APA task force on advertising and children also posits that Such children lack the capability to effectively evaluate commercial claims and appeals, and therefore tend to accept the information conveyed in advertising as truthful, accurate, and unbiased. Consequently, children in this age range are uniquely vulnerable to commercial persuasion. Long-standing public policy in the area of advertising holds that all commercial content must be clearly identifiable as such to its intended audience, in order to allow the consumer to consider the source of the message in evaluating its claims.
The ROYGBIV that is the Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo and pigments on rainbow palette instinctively evokes meaning and gender attachment in relations to human activities.
We are either bright or gloomy, concentrate or bleak. To the best of our knowledge we are hypothetically skewed to prefer certain colors over the others in respect to emotional disposition. It has however been that gender differences exists in colour preference.
Advertisements has deeply changed the cultural environment and affecting identity building through branding process (klien,2000). Kasser,2002; Masquetti,2008 opines that children identity building is highly affected by what they see and experience. The use of children in adverts creates the social gap between them and their parents so directly or indirectly these adverts are directed at the children and the presence of children alone in these adverts could be an effort to convince the audience on sincerity and harmless portrayal of stereotypical contents. The use of multicolored text or images is expected in form of drawings, story books and toys unlike the adult’s adverts where neutral colors are displayed to increase the reliability of the meaning of the context. Eagly, 1987 opines that children are socialized from very young ages to conform to traditional gender role stereotypes and that girls learn throughout childhood the social role expectations of nurturance, dependence, and passivity. And by contrast Kimmel,2011 opines that boys learn from a younger age the roles of social consonant with traditional views of masculinity, roles which emphasize dominance, independence and emotional reserve. Advertisement on toys are examples of gender colour and highly gender hyped, as the toys for girls are designed with attractiveness while toys for boys mostly focus on action, competition and aggressiveness. A study of toy by (Pennell, 1994) states that averts on newspapers showed the striking differences between advertisements targeted to girls and boys. A content analysis by (Auster ; Mansbach, 2012) opines that toys advertised on Disney store revealed that girls’ toys emphasized importance of physical attractiveness and displayed in pink and purple while boys emphasized action and power and displayed in bold colors of brown, black and red. Advertising cannot but depend on stereotypes due to the nature of their adverts and has been a part of advertising since time immemorial. Examples of these stereotypes’ portrayals are Johnson’s baby care products where we have the pink products and the blue products which almost have the same ingredients but due to that colour preference an average mother or mothers would rather pick the blue baby care products for her son and pink baby care products for her female child.
Statement of the problem
Stereotyping has become a serious social problem and is not limited, children have adopted some behavioral characters and patterns based on this stereotypical upbringing. According to Smithsonian the shift towards pink and blue happened gradually. Colors to be used for children has not been left out of this stereotype, many believe that there’s supposed to be a particular colour attached to each gender example is the colour pink, they think it represents tenderness, beauty, gentleness and delicateness so therefore it suits the girl like attitude so it should be for the girls while blue on the other hand, signifies masculinity, boldness and strength which suits the boys. As stated by Ladies Home journal article in June 1918 “The generally accepted rule is that pink for the boys, and blue for the girls. The reason being that pink, was more decided and stronger color, is more suitable for the boy, while blue, is more delicate and daintier is prettier for the girl”.
This color differences reflects the different cultural expectations on children based on their sexuality. Sociologists and researchers have expressed different opinions on gender stereotype on children, but over time the question remains “does the girl child actually prefer pink or does the boy child actually prefer the colour blue or have they just been made to believe that it is the color that suits their gender”. Research has it that color has been assigned to each gender which is snow a way of life or norm in the society, breach in of this gender has its detriments on the children (self-esteem, physical relationships with other children and mental effect).
Consequently, this research aims at probing the reason why particular perception is conferred on specific colors and attached to certain gender and how media contents is encouraging this stereotype through advertisements and their parents take and perception on these advertisements.
Objective of the study
The main objective of this study seeks to determine the parent’s perceptual knowledge in children’s advertisement on gender colour preference.
The specific objectives are to
To find out the level of awareness among parents in Kosofe local government area on gender colour stereotypes in adverting.
To determine sources through which parents in kosofe local government area access information on gender colour stereotypes in advertising.
To know the extent at which parents have applied gender colours on children.
To establish the extent to which parents perceive information on gender colour stereotypes in advertisements.
The study adopted four research questions in line with the objectives, these are:
What is the level of awareness of parents on gender colour stereotypes?
From what source did they get to know about gender colour stereotypes
To what extent have parents applied the use of gender colour stereotypes on children based on their perception of the advert/ the influence of the influence of the advert
To know the level of preference of colour gender stereotypes of parents based on their perception.
Significance of the study
This study seeks to investigate emphasis of advertisements on gender colour especially on children and how it underpins parent’s propensity. The study would create awareness on the need of gender colour stereotyping. It would educate and increase the knowledge of parents on the importance of gender colour stereotyping. The study seeks to show how advertisement can help parents see the importance and relevance of gender colour on children. The study seeks to investigate the advertisement and its acquaintance with parents, to investigate the extent to which children are influenced by these adverts. The study is aimed at probing the reason why particular perception is conferred on specific colors and attached to certain gender. The result of this study will contribute to the already existing stereotypes attachment
Scope of the study
This study will explicitly examine the reason why particular perception is conferred on specific colors and attached to certain gender through advertisement. Parents were chosen as respondents for this study because children are vulnerable to decisions and don’t have a mind of their own. It would examine how the media that is advertisement changes their view or perception on gender colour. This study would be limited to parents in Kosofe Local government area of Lagos State.
Operational definitions of terms
Key operational terms used in this research study are explained below to allow proper and unified understanding of the contents and issues discussed.
Stereotypes: is a widely held but fixed and oversimplified image or idea of a particular type of person or thing. It is stereotyping supposed to be blamed on the perception of people or the society for contributing to it. Stereotyping is not intentional but has a role to play in each of the adverts displayed which one way or the other affects people’s perception and preference.
Advertisement: refers to the public notice of sale, broadcast platform through which gender colour in children is been publicized. Advertising as a medium plays a big role in shaping peoples mind and perception so should be used in the most positive way.
Perception: this refers to the discernment, understanding, approach and attitude of parents on advertisement on gender colour on children.
Preference: this refers to the option, inclination and priority placed on children advertisement on gender colour by parents.
Parents: refers to mothers and fathers’ residents of Kosofe local government Area Lagos St