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: BevNet
Wednesday, June 11, 2014

This framing of the issue paints industry — rather than the kids and adults struggling with diabetes, obesity, tooth decay and heart disease due to the industry's profoundly unhealthy products — as the victim. This blog post features commentary from the industry perspective on food stamp restrictions, soda taxes, and taking sugary chocolate milk out of schools.

Source: FoodNavigator-usa.com
Friday, June 6, 2014

This blog post piggybacks on the controversy around school lunch regulations being debated in Congress to talk about food companies' programs to improve kids' nutrition. The post contains a good review of some of the self-regulatory actions that companies are taking and, fortunately, the focus here seems to mostly be on produce and some packaged food.

Source: Advertising Age
Friday, June 6, 2014

After LeBron James was sidelined by leg cramps at Game 1 of the NBA Finals, Gatorade sent tweets implying that this was because he drinks Powerade (which he endorses) instead of Gatorade. The company later apologized for the tweets. For better or worse, Gatorade continues to insert itself into the conversation that its target demographic (young men and athletes) are having.

Source: The New York Times
Wednesday, June 4, 2014

This article in the New York Times ties the expanded interest in the World Cup to the 2010 U.S. Census, which showed how quickly the Latino population was growing — and, therefore, caught marketers' interest. Junk food companies like Mondelez, Coke, Pepsi and McDonald's are all looking to capitalize on the event, using sophisticated digital media strategies to target Latinos and others.

Source: PR Newswire
Tuesday, May 27, 2014

The performance was part of McDonald's Inspiration Celebration Gospel Tour, a project of the company's 365black initiative, which targets African-Americans. The tour is a way for the fast food company — and its unhealthy products — to stay "deeply rooted" in African-American communities.

Source: MediaPost
Thursday, May 22, 2014

"Hispanic Millennials are the single most important consumer group per capita in the U.S.," says marketing executive Jerry Hudson. Why? They're the "most millennial of Millennials," and Millennials are "the Holy Grail" for marketers. To most effectively target this sector, Hudson urges marketers to take advantage of their habits — habits like technology use and interest in soccer.

Source: MediaPost
Wednesday, May 21, 2014

McDonald's newest spokescharacter, an animated Happy Meal box, was introduced as part of the chain's effort to " bring fun and excitement to kids' meals" while "serving as an ambassador for balanced and wholesome eating." Public health and corporate accountability advocates have derided the move as a "PR gimmick," while customers and critics have already taken to social media to denounce the anthropomorphic box "hideous" and "#McScary."

Source: Advertising Age
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

McDonald's blends event sponsorship, product packaging, and digital marketing in this high-profile global marketing effort. In the coming months, french fry packaging will be modified to serve as "the entry point for an augmented-reality game on [a branded] app." Whether the company admits it or not, the brand is certainly implicitly targeting youth with "fun": "Our digital vision at McDonald's is to bring an entirely new level of everyday convenience and fun to the world, and our augmented reality app is just one example of how we are bringing fun to our customers' lives."

Source: Mashable
Tuesday, May 20, 2014

The Ferrera Candy Company, maker of Lemonheads, tried to broaden its youth appeal by introducing a new mascot through Twitter. Critics have declared the "lumpy lemon-headed child" as "creepy," and compared it unfavorably to McDonald's unpopular new mascot.

Source: Chicago Tribune
Monday, May 19, 2014

McDonald's announced the new menu option just ahead of the company's annual meeting. The article notes that the fast food giant has been under continued pressure about its role in childhood obesity. The brand will also promote the new addition with an animated character called "Happy," who is ostensibly designed to "encourage healthy eating habits among children."

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