This has always struck me as a bit odd. Sure, it makes sense to use cartoon characters to sell products to kids – a phenomenon that’s been well-documented.
But why are advertisers using the same techniques on adults?
To me, it’s just one symptom of a broader trend of infantilization in Western culture. It began before the advent of smartphones and social media. But, as I argue in my book “The Terminal Self,” our everyday interactions with these computer technologies have accelerated and normalized our culture’s infantile tendencies.