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
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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.




Speaking of junk food… November 16, 2008

Filed under: Uncategorized — dkazmaier @ 6:39 pm
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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/