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: Kidscreen
Monday, April 21, 2014

In an effort to promote its unhealthy products, Kellogg's is releasing a new Spider Man-themed mobile app, as well as announcing a new partnership with Sony for a sweepstakes giveaway. The mobile app allows users to unlock new parts of the game by scanning codes found on the brand's products including Pringles, Frosted Flakes, and Pop-Tarts. The sweepstakes features prizes including a trip to New York City.

Source: Ad Age
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Jay Z's "Made in America" music festival, sponsored by Budweiser, is adding the city of Los Angeles to its tour this summer and capitalizing off the opportunity to draw "a younger and more multicultural crowd to Budweiser." Pointing out Budweiser's competing beer brands imported from Mexico and the diverse Latino population in California, one marketing executive emphasizes, "we need to make this festival relevant to Hispanic culture."

Source: Media Post
Wednesday, April 16, 2014

As their sales drop, Coca Cola is investing more in its Freestyle dispenser machine which allows consumers to mix their own sugary drinks. The machine is being heralded as "an admission by Big Soda that they have to endorse a young drinker's consciousness" and is a blatant effort to stay relevant among youth and young adults. Upcoming promotion for the Freestyle machine will be digitized including a mobile app which will allow consumers to pre-mix their drinks on their cellphones and scan the app to the machine itself.

Source: Color Lines
Tuesday, April 15, 2014

In a self-promoting video clip, Budweiser showcases their special screening of the film about César Chávez for Latino farm workers in Delano, California. Budweiser proudly announces their long-time sponsorship of the United Farm Workers (UFW) in the clip, a classic example of targeting Latinos by invoking important cultural figures, events, and language.

Source: Ad Age
Sunday, April 13, 2014

To promote their new Spicy Chicken Cool Ranch Doritos Locos Tacos, Taco Bell is partnering with the popular mobile app SnapChat. The app will feature a short film featuring the new product and will be launched in conjunction with television, radio, and other social media promotion. The marketing tactic is another example of Big Food turning to the latest in technology to push unhealthy products on young, tech savvy consumers.

Source: PR Newswire
Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The new bilingual app Veo was specifically developed for brands like General Mills and Daisy to to target Latinos with coupons, giveaways, and other offers through their smart phones. According to one of the app's developers: "Among Hispanics, shopping and couponing apps rank second, only to social media." Given a recent article on how coupons advertise unhealthy foods, this is likely to not be good news for Latino health.

Source: New York Times
Monday, April 7, 2014

Vita Coco, a leading maker of coconut water, is partnering with the upcoming animated film Rio 2 to launch two new flavors of the Vita Coco Kids line. The new flavors are named after characters in the popular children's movie and will be promoted using digital, print, social media, and in-store advertisements. While the adult-targeted products in the Vita Coco line are made with 100% juice, the children's products are made with only 50% juice and have added sugar.

Source: FoodBev.com
Friday, April 4, 2014

Beechdean Ice Cream Group, the UK's largest farm-based ice cream maker, is launching a new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle-branded ice cream popsicle. The "X-Treme Lime and Chocolate Ice Lolly" capitalizes on the ongoing popularity of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, who will be featured in a high profile movie later this year.

Source: Gnomes National News Service
Thursday, April 3, 2014

The competition asks fashion design students at historically black colleges to create designs inspired by the McCafe brand and offers prestigious apprenticeships and scholarships as prizes. According to a McDonald's spokesperson, "McCafe beverages are the perfect complement for aspiring designers as they work tirelessly to pursue their dreams."

Source: LA Weekly
Thursday, April 3, 2014

A recent study of 65 cereals indicates that cereals marketed to children are strategically placed at children's eye level on grocery store shelves - and that spokes-characters on child-targeted cereal boxes are positioned to have eye contact with children. A follow-up study indicates that eye contact with branded spokes-characters helps marketers build brand loyalty and trust among children.

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