09 January, 2007

Diaper conspiracy

I've been thinking lately, why do babies' diapers always have pictures of some cartoon characters. Not just some generic piglets, mice, cubs, etc., but very specific ones, complete with the ® sign. Even supposedly cost-cutting store brands have them, what's the point licensing the copyrighted images?

Babies don't look at them -- not only diapers are normally covered with clothing, but, more importantly, babies don't care about such stuff. It's the adults who can actually appreciate the pictures, and they would often rather look at some other things, e.g. there could be some hot chicks for dads, or some muscular plumbers for moms. Sure this leads to "dads" and "moms" packs of diapers (an unexpected advantage of gay couples right here) -- but from the manufacturer's point of view it's even better: different packs mean more sales. And there are lots of hot chicks and muscular plumbers who'll for free allow to use their pictures for a chance to be famous.

So, why do manufacturers continue to lose money by licensing copyrighted themes for their products? Using something else would not only save money, but would also be more appealing to customers.

The situation becomes quite clear, though, if one considers that it may be the owners of cartoons who pay the diaper manufacturers to use cartoon characters, in order to associate these cartoons with children in parents' minds. After all, kids are not going to decide which cartoons to watch (i.e. which DVDs to buy, which shows will get the highest audience and thus higher ad revenues). Parents decide that and they get indoctrinated at the very beginning!

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