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: QSR
Monday, September 8, 2014

Krispy Kreme is reaching out to social media users through its Talk Like a Pirate Day promotion. During the popular social media "holiday," which occurs on September 19th, the chain will give a free doughnut to customers who talk like a pirate - and even more doughnuts to those who dress up.

Source: QSR
Thursday, September 4, 2014

Taco Bell has partnered with a popular YouTube star to promote its teen-targeted corporate social responsibility initiative, the Graduate for Màs Teen Scholar Contest. Teens are encouraged to submit an online video to a branded website for a chance to win a scholarship - and to become part of Taco Bell's promotional materials.

Source: New York Times
Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Food and beverage manufacturers are among the many major companies using the new football season as a launching pad for campaigns. The best known of these is Doritos' "Crash the Super Bowl", the fan-driven campaign is part of Frito Lay's effort to market Doritos to "young Millenials, who are harder and harder to market to."

Source: PR Newswire
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

McDonald's is touting a day of breakfast giveaways for kids in California and Nevada. Though the chain trumpets its "wholesome" breakfast options, this marketing campaign will mean that more kids start their school day at McDonald's, where unhealthy foods are also heavily marketed.

Source: Bridging the Gap
Tuesday, September 2, 2014

New research from Lisa Powell and colleagues found that low-income and African-American kids were the most likely to be targeted with television ads for fast food and sugary drinks. The researchers used television ratings data to analyze which ads were aired in different markets.

Source: QSR Magazine
Thursday, August 28, 2014

During the keynote speech for this year's Hispanic Retail 360 conference, an event that brings together marketers and retailers interested in targeting Latinos, Pizza Patron's Brand Director Andrew Gamm focused on making a "cultural connection" with Latinos to generate sales. He instructed marketers to, among other things, "bypass the brain, bypass the wallet, touch the heart."

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." 

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