After watching an interesting episode of iCarly, which consisted mostly of people fighting on the floor, and analyzing two commercials that aired together (Aveeno, and Chuck E. Cheese’s) I was left wondering what demographic Nickelodeon thought it was targeting. Being naturally curious, I sought to find out, so I Googled “nickelodeon advertising” and with some interesting results. According to a Time Warner website designed for media sales, it appears there are many groups of channels designed for various age/sex demographics. Apparently, the Nickelodeon channel falls into many categories including men and women from the ages 2-49. This explains why its programming has become so diverse and its commercials so unexpected. Advertisers purchase spots on this channel and its network whether they are targeting the toddler, the child, the high school teen, or the parents.
I noticed one other not-so-oddity. These family friendly comedies typically have no adults. Nickelodeon seeks to relate to teens through its programing and therefore depicts many groups of teenagers making independent choices. They live and learn in a world largely uninhabited by adults. These characters travel alone, sign record deals, attend high schools that look and feel like college campuses. They are depicted in carefully crafted dream lives. What teens see are themselves, if they were famous rockstars and lived alone without any financial realities. It’s all pretty glamorous. At award shows, the actors look 10 years older than they really are, and they all get real-life record deals because they now have famous faces and millions of teenage fans.The Hollywood phenomena, reinventing itself since the 1990’s original 90210, is not new, yet remains interesting to think about in terms of how it might develop teenage perceptions of the world.