What have great advances in technology brought us? Certainly some immensely valuable and life saving tools. However, there are also a lot that are unnecessary and potentially harmful, and even some that are both
Television, it has been argued can be both a tremendous educational and reporting tool but also a dangerous weapon in the hands of advertisers who monopolize the air waves these days. Whether we believe it or not, studies have clearly indicated that we pick up on all of the subtle advertising clues meant to drive us to choose certain products over others. Media plays on our emotions, our senses and our subconscious mind to the point that it can effectively make a decision for us. This is especially true when it comes to children. Couple creative advertising strategies with some of the most popular celebrities and it is a home run for advertisers.
Children who spend a considerable amount of time in front of the television are like small sponges, absorbing everything they see and hear. Advertisers know this and seek to cater their campaigns where they can effectively catch as many fish in their net at one time as they can. Some campaigns are bust while others are hugely successful and result in off the chart sales and trends.
Which Food will You Choose?
A recent study out of the University of Liverpool has revealed, for the first time, that celebrity endorsement of certain food products sways children’s food choices. Celebrity endorsement is nothing new but it’s influence on shopping habits has gained much attention from the research community. Celebrities bring value, credibility and recognition to a product. For instance, a cheese string is just a cheese string until it is favored by a professional basketball star. With that celebrity photo plastered on every package and a few advertisements with the star and the campaign is set for success.
When children (ages 8-11), were asked to watch some television with an embedded add of a celebrity endorsing a product they were then given a chance to eat from two bowls of cereal. One bowl contained the endorsed product the other, they were told, a supermarket brand (although they were both actually the endorsed product). The results revealed that children ate considerably more of the endorsed cereal. The same results were found when children watched footage of the celebrity, not an advertisement with the celebrity. This is true testimony to the power of advertising.
There is cause to be alarmed that our children are being swayed by the use of celebrities in the food industry. This is dangerous, say researchers, when it comes to the marketing of unhealthy, high-fat, sugar-laden foods. All of this just contributes to rising levels of youth obesity, diabetes and a host of other lifestyle related illnesses now being seen in children.
How much television do your children watch?
-The Alternative Daily