Daina’s Blog

…the thoughts of a modern day marketing student

Infiltrating Advertising into Schools December 20, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 3:45 am
Tags: , , , ,

Advertisements penetrate nearly every minute of our lives, and sometimes I wonder just howmdconalds-baby much children should be exposed to commercialization. McDonald’s has been advertising on report cards, offering the incentive of a free happy meal to those children who succeed in the areas of their grades, behavior and attendance.

The Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, which really goes against the advertising world as a whole, came down hard on this method of advertising simply because of the association with good grades and bad food. “This promotion takes in-school marketing to a new low… it bypasses parents and targets children directly with the message that doing well in school should be rewarded by a Happy Meal” (Susan Linn 2007). Parents should be able to control what affects their children’s lives, and this type of advertising overlooks that choice.

Children are very susceptible to advertising tactics, and this is a market that IMC professionals need to be very careful with. Schools are supposed to be safe havens for children, and I don’t believe it is appropriate to plaster report cards with ads no matter where the money goes.

“Research shows that children under the age of eight are unable to critically comprehend televised advertising messages and are prone to accept advertiser messages as truthful, accurate and unbiased. This can lead to unhealthy eating habits as evidenced by today’s youth obesity epidemic” (APA 2004). Ethics come into play once again, and rather than marketing for monetary purposes only, IMC professionals should think about the consequences of ads that appeal to younger generations.

http://commercialfreechildhood.org/pressreleases/reportcard.htm

http://www.apa.org/releases/childrenads.html  

 

Speaking of junk food… November 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 6:39 pm
Tags: , , ,

710cornsyrupOkay, I’m still ranting about the ethics of marketing junk food to youngsters. This practice truly bothers me, and I can honestly say that I would never work for a company and/or product that I do not believe in. That said, have you all seen the television spots regarding the “goodness” of high fructose corn syrup? They drive me insane.

Being a nutrition buff and a high-raw vegan, every little misconception about the health factor of high fructose corn syrup bugs me. According to the Web site, www.sweetsurprse.com, “The U.S. Food and Drug Administration granted high fructose corn syrup “Generally Recognized as Safe” status for use in food, and reaffirmed that ruling in 1996 after thorough review” (Sweetsurprise.com, n.d.). Does this sound convincing? Let’s take a look at the marketing tactics that are used in the campaign. First – the commercials. You can view the ads here: http://www.sweetsurprise.com/seeourads.php

Each of the ads feature a skeptical person that seems to assume that corn syrup is bad but cannot state why. The print ads mirror the television spots. All in all, I have to say that the marketing campaign is rather well thought out, and this upsets me even further. The marketing pros that worked on this campaign definitely knew how to resonate with the audience, as most people are not well educated when it comes to nutrition. They see and hear ads, and they believe them. According to the press kit on the Web site, this specific campaign is geared toward consumers aged 25 and older, particularly moms. As for the ethical side, the ads do urge moderation in consumption.

There’s an article on MSNBC from the Associated Press that I found to be interesting and informative regarding this marketing campaign and the falsities of it. “In 2006, the Sugar Association petitioned the FDA to clarify the definition of “natural,” complaining that its use in describing high-fructose corn syrup was misleading because corn’s original chemical state is altered significantly during processing into syrup” (2008). Unethical marketing tactics mislead consumers and in this case, it is a very dangerous practice because it deals directly with health. The healthcare industry will certainly benefit from this campaign paid for by corn farmers, but that’s about it.

To each his own, but don’t believe everything that you see or hear.

SweetSurpise.com (n.d.) Referenced November 16, 2008.

“Ads aimed at sweetening corn syrup’s image”. (2008). Referenced November 16, 2008. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/26648177/

 

Ban the TV!

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 5:37 pm
Tags: , , ,

Marketing to children often walks a fine line as far as ethics are concerned, as youngsters are impressionable and their minds are easily molded. However, the market for children is expanding on a near daily basis, as the younger generations hold plenty of influence over the purchasing powers in the household. Television commercials are one of the main ways that marketing professionals connect to children; messages are seen over and over and eventually a child asks the parent to purchase an item that was seen on TV.

It’s important to children to keep up with their peers and today’s marketing tactics have added pressure to the younger generations to keep up with the times in order to appear ‘cool’. According to an article titled “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” posted on the Monitor on Psychology Web site, the result of marketing to children “is not only an epidemic of materialistic values among children, but also something [psychologist Allen D. Kanner, PhD] calls ‘narcissistic wounding’ of children. Thanks to advertising, he says, children have become convinced that they’re inferior if they don’t have an endless array of new products” (Clay, 2000).

Since marketing professionals are partially responsible for the molding of children’s minds, how important is it for us to practice strong ethics? Promoting items like Bratz Dolls

Combining sex & junk food... dangerous?
Combining sex & junk food… dangerous?

 or the WWE to the younger generations makes one wonder just HOW much influence we, as marketing professionals, have over the upbringing of children and how they shape into adults. It depends on how the whole picture is portrayed; how the product is presented. The marketing professional needs to understand the consequences of introducing such items into a child’s life and needs to take responsibility for what the child learns and feels.

What about junk food? Isn’t it a contradiction marketing such products as sugary cereals and fast food to children but also reminding them to exercise? I am personally appalled by these practices and think such companies should understand that they are literally brainwashing children into eating such products and therefore, becoming addicted to the food. Yes, it is a parent’s responsibility to ultimately decide what their children should consume, but it’s nearly impossible to overcome the subliminal messages found in the media. Parents should NOT use fast food (or food of any type) as a reward for good behavior, because this teaches children to associate food with emotion. Back to the topic on hand, I believe that each of us should take responsibility for the morals we induce on the younger generations. It’s a no-win situation out there as we speak, but as individuals, we can make some changes for the better.

Clay, Rebecca. (2000). “Advertising to children: Is it ethical?” Retrieved November 15, 2008. http://www.apa.org/monitor/sep00/advertising.html