The Effects Of Cartoon Adverts On Children (A Case Study Of Tom And Jerry)

Project and Seminar Material for Mass Communication

The Effects Of Cartoon Adverts On Children (A Case Study Of Tom And Jerry)


Tom and Jerry, a type of cartoon children enjoy watching, was chosen as the case study, with sample drawn from pupils of Uwani Primary School and University of Nigeria Enugu campus primary schools. The study investigated three hypotheses namely; Children learn something from the cartoons they watch, Children do understand some of the message of cartoons, Children should be encourage to watch some cartoons Will be used to answer the research question on the effect of cartoon advert on children. The survey research was used in order to generate data from the respondents. The review of related literature and limited direct interview will be carried out to strengthen the findings of the study. Structured questionnaire will also be administered to 133 pupils of both primary schools mentioned. Data analysis will be carried out using frequency distribution table and simple percentages. Based on the analysis of data and testing of hypothesis conclusion will be drawn. The results of the finding will be unfolded. Above all parents and guardian will find the research useful, as they will be better opportune to be selective on the kinds of cartoons their children watch. This will enable them to generate the desired influence of cartoons on the life of these children.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

Children have become MUCH more interested in cartoons, over many years and it has become a primary action to some lives. Typically, Children begin watching cartoons on the television at an early age of six months, and by the age two or three children enthusiastic viewers. This is one of the reasons why Steve Hostler in his edited write up-mental and psychological effects of children’s cartoons opined that to many children are watching too much television and the shows that they are watching (even if they are cartoons) have become violent and addictive.

The marketing of cartoons has become overpowering in the United State and so has the subliminal messaging. The marketing according to Steve Hostler in his edited write-up from the Internets is targeted toward, the children to cause them to want to view the cartoons on a regular basis, but the subliminal messaging the “cartoon” This is unfortunate because children watch cartoon on the television and they see material that is not appropriate for their agegroup. Steve Hostler also alludes that children who watch too much cartoons on television are more likely to have mental and emotional problems, along with brain and eye injuries and unexpectedly the risk of a physical problem increase.

According to Oxford learner’s dictionary, cartoon is defined as an amusing drawing in a newspaper or magazine especially one about politics current events picture. It is (animated cartoon) a film made of by photographing a series of gradually changing drawings so that they look as if they are moving.

The word “cartoon” from the world encyclopedia of comics, derives from the Italian word “cartone” which is a drawing used in the preparation of a fresco. However following the invention of the printing press, it expanded to include both a technical and contextual meaning for printed line drawing were often caricatures are included in political and pamphlet and broadsides.

Twentieth century serial comics, and to a greater extent, animation has tied the word’s contemporary meaning to children’s humour, cartoon has long existed on the periphery of broadcast televisions, consigned to the

Shadowy region of week day afternoon and Saturday morning. The networks evening programming has been remarkably empty of cartoon series that have lasted more than two seasons. Many of the cartoon character according to Jeremy G. Butter in him write up cartoon’s with which people are most familiar were not actually designed for television, but rather were exhibited initially for in cinema theatres.

Cartoons initially evolved in the teens, but their development was slowed down by their prohibitive cost.

Animation became more economically feasible in 1914 when Earth Hurd patented the animation Cell. The Cell is a sheet of transparent celluloid that is placed on top of a background drawing. Legal wrangling, however, slowed the acceptance of the cel and comparatively few silent cartoons were made.

Steamboat Willis (2000) was the first significant cartoon with synchronized sound and flowers and Trees (1932) was the first to use, the three – colour Technicolor process (which became the cinemas principal colour process in the late 1930s). The final key to the success of the cartoon was an effective distribution system. During the silent era, according to Jeremy G Butler in his write up, small studios had created cartoon with limited access to cinema theatres. In the 1930s, Major studios such as Paramount, Warner, Universal and MGM signed distribution deal with the cartoon studios, or created their own cartoon departments. The late 1930s, to 1950s were a “golden era” for the cartoon and it is from this era that the most theatrical cartoons on television are drawn.

1.2 Statement of the Problem

It has been observed that so many children today are being influenced by what they view or see on the television, especially when it comes to cartoons production. There are reported cases of children misbehaving after his/her exposure to a television programme. To a great extent this has not really helped situation that is one of the reasons why writers like Steve Hostler in his writer-up mental and psychological effects of children’s cartoons said that too many children are watching too much television and shows that they are watching have become violent and addictive.

Many of these children today have mental and emotional problem due to what they have watched on the television programme. In order to have stable and verifiable evidence(s) this study is set to work into the impacts and effects of cartoon adverts on the children.

1.3 Objectives of the Study

The objectives of this research are

  1. To determine whether cartoons as a television programme affects children positively or negatively.
  2. To find out whether children do actually understand the Message of cartoon
  3. To determine whether children should be encouraged
  4. or discouraged from watching cartoons.
  5. To make reasonable recommendations on the children and cartoon selection.

1.4 Research Question

For the purpose of this study

The following research questions are formulated

  1. Do you think cartoons affect children positively or negatively?
  2. Do children actually understand the message of cartoons?
  3. Should we encourage or discourage or children form watching cartoons.
  4. Should we make reasonable recommendations on the children and cartoon selection.

1.5 Research Hypothesis

The following hypothesis were formulated to;

Hypothesis One
  • H0: Children do not learn something from the cartoons they watch
  • Hi: Children learn something from the cartoons they watch.
Hypothesis Two
  • H0: Children should not be encourage to watch cartoons
  • H2: Children should be encouraged from watching some cartoons.

1.6 Assumptions

  1. It is assumed that the questions are enough for easy understanding by the respondents.
  2. The sample is assumed to be well selected and is adequately representative of the population for accurate and reliable information for a meaningful study.
  3. Again there is assumption that the respondents has access to televisions and Internet where they watch cartoons.

1.7 Significance of the Study

This study cannot be underestimated as it is of very significance not only to children who watch cartoons but also in many respects.

First, parents and significant other will find the research findings very useful, as they will be better opportune to be selective of the kinds of cartoons their wads watch.

Again it will serve as a reference point for other researches on the effect of cartoon advert on children. Finally the findings of this research work will help children be aware of the positive and negative implication of the cartoons they watch.

1.8 Scope of the Study

The scope of this study covers the effect of cartoons advert on children. A case study of Uwani primary school and Unec primary school through the electronic media, which includes Television and Internet, It will also include the effect of the use of this medium on children.

1.9 Definition of Terms


It is a pictorial parody which by the devices of caricature analogy and ludicrous juxtapositive sharpens the public view of a contemporary event, political or social trend.

Editorial opinion:

This is the average score of response to items measuring cartoon messages as an indication of editorial opinion.


Advertising, like other promotional techniques informs, persuades and reminds. It can change consumer’s, beliefs, attitudes, images, and behaviour. But for advertising to be effective on a national level, enormous expenditures are required. Advertising is a giant industry

Chapter Five

Summary, Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

It is important to ascertain that the objective of this study was to ascertain the effect of cartoons adverts on children.
In the preceding chapter, the relevant data collected for this study were presented, critically analyzed and appropriate interpretation given. In this chapter, certain recommendations made which in the opinion of the researcher will be of benefits in addressing the effect of cartoons on children.

5.2 Summary

Marketing to children and adolescents is a way of life in most developing countries. Children have both their own disposable income and influence over what their parents buy, and marketers attempt to determine how those dollars are spent. Television now reaps most of the advertising dollars, but newer technologies are providing new ways for marketers to reach children. Marketing practices such as repetition, branded environments, and free prizes are effective in attracting children’s attention, making products stay in their memory, and influencing their purchasing choices. Immature cognitive development, howeverlimits the ability of children younger than eight to understand the persuasive intent of commercials. Thus, public policy regulates how advertisers can interact with children via television especially cartoons.

5.3 Conclusion

The study conclude that Cartoon is one of the strong factors that does affect an individual’s childhood, and takes considerable time from the young toddler schedule. Cartoon is a double edged weapon; it could ruin an individual’s childhood through excessive exposing to sexual & violence content, or could aid in raising a balanced child with a proper mental state. Cartoon could act as a home school, to teach a kid the life experience that is not gained from parents or from school due to facilities that is lacked in the normal academic way or in parents orders.

5.4 Recommendations

Haven completed the study, the researcher recommend that daily 10 min sessions of watching Violent TV programs (cartoons) resulted in greater physical aggression to young children watching a series of violent cartoons and the time and what the children view on TV should be minimized and controlled by their parents and guardians.
Parent should ensure that the effect of violent comedy cartoon on children behavior should be under control as children tends to practice what they watched on TV.

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