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Food Marketing to Children and Youth: Threat or Opportunity?
ducted by Neopets® (2003) showed that more than 30 percent of teens’ purchases were directly influenced by magazine advertisements for music, games, makeup, and clothes. According to that survey, magazines have even more influence on entertainment choices, persuading 37 percent of teens to see a movie in the theater and 36 percent to purchase a video or DVD (Neopets®, 2003). Recently, teen magazines have started to use the Internet to recruit individuals to inform the magazine staff about emerging trends in youth culture (KFF, 2004). For example, Teen People accesses a network of 9,000 “trendspotters” across the United States who keep the editorial staff up to date on teen issues and concerns (KFF, 2004).
Other Marketing Strategies
Newer marketing approaches directed at children are beginning to appear in Internet applications and video games, including advergames. In an era of television advertisement-skipping technologies such as TiVo and audience fragmentation, the placement of products in venues (e.g., television, films, music, the Internet) that are not readily recognizable by consumers as marketing venues has become a growing practice, with products integrated seamlessly into programming content (Balasubramanian, 1994; Gardner, 2000; Mazur, 1996; PQMedia, 2005). There are also event and loyalty marketing such as kids’ clubs, school-based marketing, and promotions and public relations. Interactive technologies, particularly the Internet, and the more recent wireless technologies such as cell phones, are emerging in new interactive marketing plans (Calvert, 2003).
Systematic and reliable estimates are not readily available for how much marketers are spending in the newer media channels, but the amounts are substantially less than for traditional television advertising. For example, Wild Planet Toys spent only $50,000 for a 4-month online promotion rather than a $2 million traditional television advertising campaign (Gardner, 2000). Similarly, Nabisco spent less than one percent of its advertising and marketing budget at its online site, and produced games that could later be exported (Gardner, 2000). Advertising in and around online games is still relatively rare but is expected to grow rapidly, expanding from a $77 million dollar budget in 2002 to an estimated $230 million dollars in 2007 (Mack, 2004).
Outdoor media include the use of billboards, buses, and projected images. This type of outdoor promotion goes well beyond the traditional roadside billboard. Companies and brands are finding new mechanisms for marketing such as hot air balloons, sides of buses, and “wrapping” buildings and cars with promotional material and signage to generate attention and interest among young people. In 1998, a study conducted by the J. Walter Thompson Media Research Group concluded that outdoor venues