ad isn’t new, but I just have to say: It is repulsive. Repulsive in that it reinforces the belief that if you do so much as to turn around for a sec to get something out of the stroller,Â your child could be abducted.
Repulsive in that, in order to sell batteries, Duracell is happy to subscribe to the notion that children are in peril every second of every day, even when they are at the park with their moms.
And repulsive that BrickHouse Security is only too happy to scare the wits out of parents to peddle a device that presupposes a man in a van is always just up the road, ever ready (so to speak!)Â to snatch our kids. The ad even SHOWS the van.
Why would anybody buy a white van anymore? Or this product? And (off topic but): isn’t that kid too big for the stroller? — Lenore
Ridiculous ad! I’ve had kids wander to where it took a moment to find them, no safety monitor required.
And yes, too big for the stroller, short of a really long day being planned where you think he might need a nap or something. Strollers can be good for that. Let the kid walk as he so clearly enjoys doing. I had been hoping they would just show a sibling in the stroller, but the was it was being dragged at the end killed that hope.
One step closer to implanting microchips the minute they’re born. Just like our pets. Doesn’t that sound crazy??
Good grief! That was “Kevin’s” stroller? I have a whole ‘nother rant on that topic that connects with obesity and how to raise an athlete. I bet Carl Lewis wasn’t in a stroller past the age of about 15 months.
Yes. Repulsive, especially the focus on the van. I’m so over the fear-mongering.
And if she hadn’t been messing with the stupid stroller, she wouldn’t have missed him.
Not that missing him was really as big a deal as the ad made it, but it’s a bit ironic.
I’m at work and Youtube is blocked. Can someone summarize for me?
I’d like to buy two of these BrickHouse locators and connect them to my kids shoes. Not so I can find the kids, but so they can find their shoes.
At the end of the commercial where did he get that balloon?
Good God this is stupidest ad I’ve seen in a long time. I child locator? Seriously, why not just put a GPS chip in our children, we do it to our pets – do we love our pets more than our children? (kidding!) Its really disgusting the fear they try to instill in us just to sell a product.
And seriously, the stroller really IS too much – he looks like he’s 5 and clearly able to walk/run just fine all on his own. What he was really trying to prove to his mom in the commercial by taking off was that he didn’t need or want the stroller! Not that there was a danger of him being kidnapped. . .
The add is truly silly, however, to be fair I believe I see a tiny pair of feet sticking out of the stroller. Its probably Kevin’s little sibling using the stroller, not Kevin himself.
I HATE this commercial! Instead of seeing the scare-you-out-of-your-wits sell job, I see a mother who has a spoiled brat that isn’t reprimanded for walking away and coming back with a balloon, and a company that’s trying to sell something to parents that will do their job for them. Save the money, teach your kid they can’t do whatever they want, and put down the cell phone and be aware of where your kid is! This is like the demand to have bath seats pulled from the market because of drownings… that happened when the parents thought the seat would watch the kid too while they walked out of the room to talk on the phone!
i sent them an email about that ad a few weeks ago, and haven’t heard back. the whole thing is ridiculous and offensive. i’m not sure if i’ll buy duracells again, and i know that i would never, ever, ever, ever tell a parent to rely or even place any dependence on a product like that to keep their child safe – i don’t care if your kid is the future king of england, that kind of product is pointless.
that being said, if you have an autistic child, or a kid with a compulsion to run away, this may be a good product. That is not, however, how they advertise it here.
@ mike – LOL!
There IS a baby in that stroller. You can see a leg and foot and she is reaching in TO the baby. She then says to Kevin, “Kevin can you hand me a wipe?” , which is clearly meant for the baby in the stroller.
If there was no baby in there, why on earth would she drag the stroller along on her frantic search for Kevin?? Granted, at the end she lets the stroller face away from her, and be several feet away…..
Now, what is so wrong with a child locater anyway?? Sure, teaching them to stay with you is important, but for those times they don’t? What’s wrong with a locator? Sure would be handy in crowded areas like Disney!
Much as I hate to admit it, Christine’s right about the stroller. Just as Kevin walks off, Mom turns to the stroller, smiles, and looks as though she’s interacting with another child. I suppose the diaper bag would be another clue.
He got the balloon from the guy in the white van who DARED to be driving near a playground. If it hadn’t been for his beeper going off, Kevin would have been toast.
I think that’s what you’re supposed to think.
In all fairness, while the ad is clearly communicating that Mom is AFRAID her kid got kidnapped, (which is pretty normal) it turns out he just wandered off (also normal). On the other hand flashing to the van is pretty sneaky, and I didn’t even notice until it was mentioned here.
I find this ad interesting as a gauge of current fears. It could just as easily flashed to a pool or a stream, and the manipulation would have been that he drowned. The ad would not have been as effective though, because while the liklihood of an unwatched child drowning is much greater, the fear is much less. Likewise, the flash to he car could just as easily be speaking about a small child running into traffic, but that’s obviously not what they’re going for.
Anyway, yes. It’s a disgusting example of fearmongering, but it only works because that particular fear is already so overblown.
We should be grateful they don’t hint that whoever gave him the balloon was a child molester.
It’s not so much the locator, it’s the ad. Yep, it would be handy in crowded areas like Disney. No, your child’s life does not depend on Duracell every time you go to the park where there are about a dozen people around.
Interesting, too, that they don’t go quite so far as to say that it is a moment of “danger” — they call it a moment of “panic.” So the product is sold so that Mom doesn’t have to worry, not actually so that the kid is safer.
Btw, what does she want him to hand her? Grass? He’s not holding anything and she’s got everything in front if her in the stroller.
I second that LOL @ Mike =)
Summary: A mother and son are in the park. Mother is leaning over a stroller, turns her head to talk to ~5-year-old Kevin – and he’s gone. Mom panics, calling for him, turning in circles – cue shot of a white van driving away – and then dumps her purse and clutches at a small device – the Child Locator. She presses the button, we see ‘Kevin’ appear on the device with an image that indicates he’s being tracked, and moments later she sees Kevin returning with a smile and a big red balloon. Mom embraces Kevin, full of relief and gratitude for her ‘Child Locator’.
I hate that commercial. What bugs me the most is when she finds the kid with the balloon at the end she hugs him and everything is okay. If my kids wandered off like that you better be sure they’d be getting their butt smacked for wandering off. Maybe if she taught him not to go wandering away she wouldn’t need to lojack him.
Oh, and there’s actually a baby in the stroller. You can see her pink shoe when the mom is looking in there when Kevin disappears. But then (and this cracks me up) she leaves the baby in the stroller and turns away to empty out the diaper back to find the locator. I mean, anyone can come up and grab the baby out of the stroller when you aren’t looking, lol.
Actually, wouldn’t those “key locators” be just as good and much cheaper. I do like the idea of putting them in their shoes!
Also, I think there were a pair of baby feet in the stroller and that kid is way too old to be riding in a stroller.
On a different note, my kids went to their grandparents’ house this summer. Aparently Zander had tucked himself away somewhere and was playing. When they needed to find him, all Nana did was say “Hey Zander!” in a loud voice and he came right to her. I guess he knows to recognize that stern voice!
One more question… How fast can that 5 year old move?? I mean, I know kids can vanish fast in a crowd but they are surrounded by SPACE in all directions. Also I guess there’s a bag behind them so never mind on the weirdness of “can you hand me.”
We read this blog because we understand balance and common sense. Security like this is an illusion and can often make people put their instincts away THINKING a gadget is replacing their senses. I will take a nap.. gadget has my kid covered in this crowded city playground. Even with a duracell, the van could have snatched the kid and the devices only feature would have been to let mom watch it drive away. If we want to be dramatic, like the ad.
I’m afraid to admit this, but I considered having tracking micro chips surgically embedded underneath the skin of my offspring after seeing this. The same way I covered my house with crucifixes the day after I saw The Exorcist. I know, I’m going out to buy the book now. Sorry.
wtf? where did that balloon come from? Hmmm…..
This commercial has been around for several months. I completely disagree with any company using this kind of advertisement to sell their product. Other advertisements similar to this is for home security systems. These advertisements use similar fear tactics (alone female parent with small child) when a burglar or ex-boyfriend or husband kicks in the door. These commercials all portray men as the evil, bad guys. What would happen if a female was portrayed in such a negative manner?
I am so happy for a blog like this. I didn’t think I was a helicopter parent (or even know what the term meant) but I was. I have tried my best to become free range. My girls are 7 and 9 and are absolutely wonderful kids. I educate everyone I know about helicopter parents and free range parents. Many look at me like I’m nuts but most are very receptive. I want to protect my girls, like any good parent does. What I don’t want to do is protect them from life.
One simple thing I did to help free range my girls is to make them responsible for seeing my wife and I safely into a store from the parking lot. They have to make sure we get into the store and back out to the car safely. At these times, they are in charge. I will occasionally “dart” away from them to see what they will do. They first look for traffic then come after me and scold me for darting. Before I made them responsible they didn’t pay much attention to traffic because mommy and daddy did it for them. Now, they are always watching.
I know what they’re trying to do, but the kid winds up OK. What I see is an over protective mom who uses a child locator and panics when it’s not called for. Though I do wonder where he got the balloon.
That kid is way too big for a stroller; furthermore, when I wandered off like that without saying anything, I got a big-time talking-to as well as a hug when I was found. So by the time I was that kid’s age, I didn’t wander off because it was already made clear to me that wandering off was not okay and would make Mom mad. Boundaries, parents! They work much better than gadgetry!
Oh, and I love the shot of the van driving away in the distance. Fearmonger much, Duracell?
I hate this ad, it gives me the heebie jeebies. And not for any good reason either.
I actually like the commercial. Let’s say this is a “Free Range” mother. She believes in giving her kid space, responsibility, and using common sense. She has a locator so that if he is out of sight, and does not respond to her voice, she can quickly locate him and decide either (a) the situation is dangerous and he needs to be removed or (b) he is just fine and she can go sit down with Jr. and let him be.
She is treating him as responsible – she asks him to help her out with the sibling.
She realizes that he is gone and she scans the playground and calls his name, the proper thing for a mom to do when she realizes that her child is no longer at her side. She cannot see him and he does not respond to her calls. She panics; perhaps this is a child attracted to water and she knows there is a river nearby; perhaps they are near a friend’s house but there is a highway he’d have to cross to get there; or perhaps there have been police warnings out about that white panel van.
She is prepared for just this type of situation, pulls out her locator with the reliable batteries, and re-establishes a sight-line with him. He has not been doing anything dangerous, he stayed in the park like he was supposed to, got a balloon from some promoter or park activity (which considering the number of kids and parents in the park, is obviously either allowed to be there, or is being closely watched by lots of suspicious parents), and returns to touch base and show his mom.
Was he in danger? No. Did she have reason to think that he might be? Just because the only “danger” they showed was the white van doesn’t mean she didn’t have good reason to think so.
The only thing I can fault in the commercial is the placement of the white van to fuel society’s paranoia. And I see it more as a personification of what we all fear, rather than fuel to the fire.
That van was such a cheap shot – nice subliminal message to bring out the paranoia! As if the mom would not have found the boy just as quickly on her own in such a wide open space. It would have been better to show them in a really crowded amusement park, where a kid could get seriously lost.
Since reading this blog and Lenore’s book, I’m happy to say that I rarely panic anymore in a situation like this. When my kids wander away from me in public, I can look for them with a clear head, knowing that the likely worst-case scenario is that they are scared to be lost.
This would be a great gadget for locating my neighbor’s dog, which keeps getting loose from the yard.
The website says it will give you “PIECE of mind.” Let me give you a piece of mind…
“So easy even parents can use it.”
I already get too little respect as a stay-at-home mom, I don’t need to hear that…
Now why oh why does that mother not have that kid on a leash? If he wanders enough that she needs a locator, she should know better than to let him roam free. Problem solved.
That ad has actually been helpful — my 6-year-old daughter and I have seen it several times, and the very first time (when she was four, I believe) she asked me what was going on.
I used it as a teachable moment — “Well, you see, the people who wrote the ad want to get you to buy their product. In order to do that, they’ve decided that the easiest thing to do is to try to scare you. You’ll see that a lot — ads that are designed to scare the people watching into paying for something that they don’t really need.”
Since then, any time we see an ad for, eg, Brinks Home Security or whatever, she’s turned to me and said “They’re trying to scare us into giving them money. I don’t think we should give it to them.”
So, I have to thank the ad creators for being so over-the-top ridiculous that they’ve managed to teach my daughter that advertising should be approached skeptically. Saved me a bunch of time.
nice try, pdw, but no.
Off topic, but are you guys following the Falcon Heeney “boy in the balloon” story? Some of the assumptions about the family (whom we had some previously very slight knowledge of) are making our heads explode here in the KSOL newsroom.
Personally, I think the Brinks/Broadview commercials are more repulsive.
Not that this one doesn’t have a lot that is unsettling. I think the first thing is that the woman apparently panics that her child is gone forever the moment she can’t find him, even though that locator thing takes all of half-a-second to tell her where he is. If the thing works on GPS tech, she’d be able to plainly tell exactly where he was, as well, so she’d also be able to see that the man (I’m sure) in the Menacing White Van ™ did not have him. Now, she does almost immediately reach for the locator, but she’s so relieved to see her child is safe that she hugs him instead of punishing him for running away from her.
But think about when this kid gets away. I’ve never seen anyone move that fast. That mother must be overbearing beyond all belief to provoke that child into running away like that. Maybe he had some pocket change with him and bought the balloon on his couple minutes of freedom. Or maybe the owner of Menacing White Van thought the kid was cute and gave him a balloon. You never know. Kid apparently had a good time, though, since he wasn’t crying when mom found him.
Someone says she wants him to hand her a wipe. That makes sense — she’s holding the baby still in the stroller so baby doesn’t make a mess while being changed, and doesn’t have a spare hand. I couldn’t possibly hear the word “wipe” in there, but then again, I’ve often missed hearing things that others have picked up. At any rate, it would make sense that a mom doing something or other with a baby might need a hand like that.
Yeah, not really keen on this product, but if anyone is listening, want I’d really want is something like a knock-out child spray. Baby won’t go to sleep? Spray them in the face once and they sleep for around eight hours.
The ad would be something like a kid in bed looking up at me saying “Can you read me another book, Daddy?” and I quickly spray them in the face and they fall to sleep and look like angels while I hit the turps.
Happy to have Duracell batteries if a simple pump action doesn’t work.
Uh-oh, I hope Sky isn’t talking about a little tan cock-a-poo. Mine keeps getting free, the little bugger.
I actually laughed at the part where she throws her purse contents all over. Come on, that device is big enough to reach in and find quickly. Now she has to take the time to pick everything up.
And ditto the people who give their child a talking to. My children would not have gotten a smile and a hug.
Whenever i saw this ad i’d think, here we go, the new item on the baby registry, THE CHILD LOCATOR. Just like the home child-proofing set, no registry is complete w/o one!
I think after hugging Kevin at the end, she should turn around saying, “I just need to finish changing Katie…Katie! Katie!”
This does remind me of the Brinks ad on TV where the mother and child are playing outside and she immedietly sets her security alarm when they goes inside…WHO DOES THAT? But alas there is a bad man lurking throught the fence ready to pounce..My husband didn’t understand why I thought this commerical was ridiculous.
Elise, you are right. who DOES that?
I’d be more scared of having a child as irresponsible as Kevin than I would of a guy in a white van. Instead of hugging him, she should’ve given him a piece of her mind!
Okay, that’s it, I’m not buying Duracell batteries anymore AND I’ll be writing to Duracell when I remember to 🙂
“I’ve never seen anyone move that fast.”
Clearly we are reading this ad from the wrong point-of-view. Kevin is No Ordinary Child. The Child Locator makes sense for their family, because Kevin is not really their kid. He was left on their doorstep as a baby, wrapped in a strange cloth that seemed to be from another world. Since he learned to toddle, he’s been doing things like lifting up the family tractor with one arm, running faster than a train, etc. Without that device (and Duracell batteries), they would not be able to keep up with him!
If this product is being marketed so that you ‘don’t have to panic’ should your child disappear why do they show her panicking?
Elise-That ad is all kinds of crazy. The bad man scoffs at the idea of attacking them when they are right in front of him in the backyard, instead choosing to show off his super-human door-breaking-in skills. Then he looks like he is about to start crying when he hears an alarm. Meanwhile, the mom who is paranoid enough to set the alarm the moment she walks in the door is comfortable chatting on the phone in the upstairs hallway when she just saw a strange man break into her house.
A few things my husband and I noticed.
1. Mom didn’t check the playground nearby but instead ran right for the locater thingymajig. In what world does this make sense? She looks at the kids playing soccer and over to the scary white van, but not at the play equipment.
2. It took mom longer to get the locater out of her purse than it would to actually find a child that had wandered away two seconds ago.
3. WHAT IF SOMEONE STEALS THE LOCATER! That was my thought. Purse snatchings are probably more common than child snatchings at the park. So, what if someone steals the locater? Isn’t that actually putting your child in more danger since you wouldn’t realize it was missing until you went to change the baby again?
4. Nice touch with the scary white van. You can trust anyone as long as they don’t have a scary white van.
So, here is my husband’s theory. Kevin (who shares a name with my husband :)) is lured to the scary white van by a scary man while another scary man hides the locater deep in the bottom of mom’s purse. When Kevin gets to the van, scary man gives him a balloon and drives off to pick up his accomplice down the street a bit. Yes, there is an organized band of balloon givers out there, just waiting to prey on your child. Beware!
I guess I’m a little too free-range… I always figured that Kevin had autism and wandered, hence the child lcoator. My stepson is autistic and we do have a locator for him because he wanders and has gotten himself lost on several occasions.
I guess it just never crossed my mind that anyone would use something like this for a neurotypical child… why would you need to!?
Child safety specialist Alison Feigh has worked for years to teach families and kids about personal safety and to dispel the myths about stranger abductions. Alison was a classmate of Jacob Wetterling’s when he was abducted, and it made a tremendous impact on her and on her life’s path. Perhaps she could contribute to your blog, to share some real-life facts and information about making smart choices and staying safe? Just an idea.
Did anyone consider that this child is autistic. I think it is obvious from the spaced out way he wanders off that he is not developmentally on target.
If you have a child with special needs it can VERY hard to keep up with a baby as well. I think any parent with a special needs kid and a baby would emphasize with the mother who is overwhelmed with the unpredicable behavior of her oldest and the care a baby requires.
This commercial doesn’t bother me because if I had a child that could not learn to stay with me and could not find his way back and I could afford electronic help I would use a Duracell as well.
Not all children are born perfect.
So many issue with this commercial…..so little time.
1. First, if Kevin is that fast on his feet, why is mom still pushing him around in a stroller? hmmm
2. I want to know who is driving the white van. If the media is to be believed, then “statistically media” speaking, chances are good that it’s some serial killing, child kidnapping thug driving away.
3. Are all the other kids accounted for on the playground. Furthermore, exactly where were the other parents of the frolicking kids?
5. And where did that damn red balloon come from anyway?
Paranoid much? lol, can get the message across just as easily by having them separated in the mall and the mom using the locator to find him, but no, they gotta play the fear card.
If that is supposed to be the boys stroller, that is just ridiculous. Come on, if the kid can walk, make him! Reminds me of a band aind commercial I saw a long time ago: a mom is showing off this pimped out “safe” stroller to another mom, the kid come out running and scrapes his leg, and the message “Shit happens” (ok, not really, but same idea). If moms are keeping them in strollers that long….no wonder kids are getting fat!
I don’t know if anywhere in the States showed this commercial, but there was a commercial in Canada for some home security system, it showed a man jogging by a house where another man is leaving his home for work, the man pulls out of his driveway and as soon as he’s gone the jogger covers his head with his hoodie and kicks in the front door, the alarm goes off and it shows the housewife freaking out and the alarm company calls, while the chickensh*t housewife is almost crying “OMG, someone tried to break in my house!!!!” lol. The messed up part of the commercial is the men wave to eachother before the break-in like they knew eachother. TRUST NO ONE! =oP
p.s. I just saw that Broadview security vid posted. LOL, what BS. My old house had an alarm(it was a bad neighbourhood, when I say bad I mean man found shot in the head in a car a few blocks away, dissapearing hookers, little kids setitng fire to garbage cans, etc etc), I accidently set it off, and it took 20 min until they called. Yeah, if someone really wanted to rape me they had 20 minutes to do so.
“Did anyone consider that this child is autistic. I think it is obvious from the spaced out way he wanders off that he is not developmentally on target.”
I think he was a five year old kid who saw someone handing out balloons. I agree that for a child with developmental issues something like this could be useful, but the ad was neither explicit nor gave clear hints that this was useful for special needs kids. The message was much more clearly that your kids will wander straight for guys in vans at the first opportunity, and they’ll be lost to you forever if you don’t have your Duracells.
I think the solution here is to ban vans.
Hey you should hear the announcement played regularly at the Goodwill where I shop.
“Children? Do you know where your parents are?
Parents? Do you know where your children?
In these dangerous times kidnapping and injury can happen in an instant. Please keep your children with you at all times.”
Ok, I don’t like kids running around and screaming while I’m shopping, but that is much more likely to occur than a kidnapping.
The really funny thing about this commercial is that the kid was fine. It didn’t show the locater finding the boy being abducted it showed him just being a kid and not actually being in any harm.
How does the audience miss that? The real message here is “Mom, don’t be so paranoid.” Ironic, because I don’t think that’s what they wanted to communicate.
On an unrelated note, I loved this billboard for a local haunted house.
I agree with the others that the Brinks/Broadview commercials are more repulsive (that’s not to say the fear-mongering tactics of using the “scary white van” flash isn’t repulsive enough), primarily because all of the various Brinks commercials depict female victims of the break-ins (did I mention the would-be robbers are idiots to not realize/ignore the “this house protected by Brinks” sign that is in the lawn and on the windows of, like, all houses with a security system? Most are deterred more by the sign than by the system itself, which hardcore ones would find a way to circumvent, like, I don’t know, cutting the power?). To me, it’s like saying, “if you’re a woman and the man of your house is likely to be away for any length of time, you need a security system on your house.” I’ll stick with my large dogs, swords, and rifle, thanks.
C has high functioning autism and gets lost extremely easily when excited- once he got lost at Millenium Park in Downtown Chicago right in front of a very busy street. Typical children turn and check for their parents, C does not. We’ve done the whole “turn around and your child’s gone” scenario multiple times. Of course we’ve always found him, but it is none the less frightening for those more rationale reasons.
Anyway, coming from that view, I can see where a child locating device could be useful for certain children in certain circumstances (although I have heard radio based devices are more efficent than GPS based devices). I don’t disagree that these ads are fearmongering, I just also see the purpose.
A radio would work much better for the kind of scenario you’re suggesting where the child is autistic and wanders away quickly. I’m not entirely sure what radio capabilities there are nowadays, but I’m pretty sure that, in the case of abduction (which is the reason for which all of these devices are marketed), a GPS would be able to provide a more detailed position.
You hit it precisely why the Brinks/Broadview ads get me. I’ve only seen one that involved a man, and he was again helpless in the face of a big man who isn’t scared of a security system warning. I always tell people that anyone breaking into my home is taking life into his/her own hands. If someone decides to break in, that person risks a .45 caliber bullet to the face. It’s that simple. I guess it would be counter-productive for a security company commercial to suggest someone defend herself from attack.
It doesn’t seem at all strange to me to have the stroller along if you’re at the park for the day. I personaly feel it is far better for me and my son to use public transport with the support of the stroller than rely on a car (which I do not own). It galled me when another mum gave me the lecture about how she just couldn’t take it when she saw kids of that age in a stroller, just before picking up her exhausted child and carrying him the 100 feet to her car parked outside the park we’d just spent the entire day in. I’m sure that if I had only to carry my son those few feet – instead of coaxing an exhausted 4.5 year old to the bus stop, onto the bus, from there to the next bus stop, onto that bus, then the walk home at the end of the trip – I’d be able to do without the stroller too!
So, basically, we shouldn’t trust any human beings? Oh, only if they are trying to sell us something. Makes sense.
she turned around for 3 seconds and her child is gone. Its gonna happen every day.oooh im sure