Peppa Piggy in the Middle of Marketers and Mashup Makers: A Netnography of Absurd Animation on YouTube
Brown, Stephen and Ponsonby-McCabe, Sharon ed(s) Brand Mascots: And Other Marketing Animals, London, Routledge, pp. 123-140, 2014
18 Pages Posted: 23 Jul 2014
Date Written: July 21, 2014
Cartoons for kids are confections of colour, candyfloss and talking animals (Well 2009; Shaw 2010). From sentimental classics like Mickey Mouse and Winnie the Pooh, to contemporary characters like The Gruffalo and Shaun the Sheep, these anthropomorphic creations are designed, yes, to sell merchandise and partake in inevitable cross promotions with fast food companies, but also to educate, captivate and entertain young minds.They are carefully produced so that parents feel secure that their child is not being exposed to inappropriate prototypes of conduct (Dill 2009). And although children’s TV programmes often have an undercurrent of humorous violence – where characters run off cliffs and fail to realize that there is nothing under their feet but the long plunge to the ground beneath – they are, for the most part, saccharin and cute, comforting and familiar. The narrative thread tends to focus on simple life lessons that children can easily understand. Despite justified parental reservations that extensive television viewing is bad for children, lest it impinge on their social development and instil in them a ‘lifetime of constant, unthinking consumption’ (Giroux and Pollock 2011: 73), such cartoons are frequently regarded as: ‘wholesome vehicles of amusement, a highly regarded source of fun and joy for children’ (Giroux 2001:83).
Keywords: Web 2.0, Branding, Netnography, Youtube, Cartoons, Fan Fiction, Misrepresentation, and Brandjacking
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