Eye On Marketers

Marketing has a profound affect on the foods we eat and the beverages we drink, yet most of that marketing is for products we should avoid. BMSG monitors the media to help keep advocates informed of the tactics food and beverage companies use to target children, communities of color, and other groups that are particularly susceptible to the health harms these products cause.
Source: NPR's The Salt
Monday, August 25, 2014

This type of strategy has been going on for a while: This story from NPR mentions, for example, a baby carrot campaign. There's also a missed opportunity here to talk to those advocates (like the folks at Campaign for a Commercial Free Childhood) who argue against marketing to children in all forms.

Source: MediaPost
Sunday, August 24, 2014

Fanta, the notoriously sugary orange soda, has launched a new media campaign using short six-second Vine videos to engage teens. A Fanta executive sums up the motives behind the campaign: "The campaign unites teens around their shared desire for fame and their shared passion for humor, while allowing them to be themselves and to connect their way."  

Source: PR Newswire
Friday, August 22, 2014

The Essence Festival, sponsored by McDonald's and Coca-Cola, announced an extended agreement with the State of Louisiana to host the Essence Festival through 2019. The Big Food sponsorship and pivotal location of the festival in New Orleans reflect marketing tactics to strengthen ties with the African American community. 

Source: MediaPost
Friday, August 22, 2014

Council member Ben Kallos of New York has introduced a bill that would prohibit children's toys from being offered with unhealthy kids meals. To meet the standards of a healthy meal, the meal must be "fewer than 500 calories, fewer than 600 milligrams of sodium, less than 35% of total calories from fat, less than 10% of total calories from added sugars and/or caloric sweeteners." 

Source: Ad Week
Monday, August 18, 2014

Gatorade continues its tradition of partnering with athletes to market its products. The latest effort features NFL stars Peyton Manning and Cam Newton in a television ad set in a convenience store where customers are denied Gatorade if they aren't sweating. Advertisers describe the Millennial-targeted ad as intended to "create something that might cause someone who reaches for a Gatorade to think, 'Hold up … have I earned this?'"

Source: Media Post
Friday, August 15, 2014

Mars Chocolate is using 90s nostalgia and popular social media phenomena to promote Twix Bites, launched earlier this year. The campaign will feature humorous videos that evoke 90s pop culture to explain why Twix Bites weren't introduced in that decade. The videos are tied to a social media campaign that urges young fans to upload their own photos and videos, tagged with the already-popular social media hashtag "#TBT" ("throwback Thursday").

Source: PR Newswire
Thursday, August 14, 2014

MilkSplash, a zero-calorie milk flavoring, recently introduced a variant with flavoring (Horchata) and packaging (featuring a donkey piata) that are clearly intended to target Latinos.

Source: Media Post
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Facing a "less than spectacular response," Burger King will phase Satisfries, touted as the chain's "healthier fries option," out of most of its North American restaurants. At the same time, Wendy's has announced that its popular Pretzel Bacon Cheeseburger, the subject of a high-profile ad campaign earlier in the summer, will become part of its regular menu.

Source: Media Post
Thursday, August 14, 2014

Companies are looking for new ways to target to teens through eye-catching multi-media marketing tactics, or through campaigns that encourage them to co-create products. This blog post highlights Coca-Cola's "Ahh Effect" campaign as a prime example -- the promotion uses games, music, and user-generated content to attract teens.

Source: Ad Age
Monday, August 11, 2014

Burger King brings back unhealthy chicken fries in response to an online consumer campaign that demanded the return of the menu item. The company is marketing the chicken fries with the same TV spot and online with the addition of a "Throwback Thursday hashtag" to appeal to Millennials.

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