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Appealing to Children Through Marketing Persuasion

Essay Topic: ,

I have chosen 3 articles from the lecture of week 10. Elliott is the author of the first reading, his article ‘Packing Fun: Analyzing Supermarket Food Messages Targeted at Children’ talks about that in recent times, food marketing for kids is often dealt with, in a constrained fashion (Elliot, 2012). This is done through the use of marketing strategies appealing to children so that young consumers consume their products.

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In the article of ‘In Online Games, a Path to Young Consumers’, the author Richtel mentioned that how food companies use online games to encourage children purchase their product (Richtel, 2011).

Gertner emphases that mother could play the vital role in marketing for children in the article ‘Hey Mom, Is IT O. K. If These Guys Market Stuff to Us? ’ (Gertner, 2004). This essay consists of the discussion and analysis of the strategies used in order to appeal and attract child consumer base by relating personal experiences in order to support the arguments that are made. Throughout the reading from Elliott, it mainly focused on how food packaging and foods are targeted towards children to encourage consumption (Elliot, 2012). The technique of marketing “fun” is the key strategy used in appealing to child consumers.

This has led companies to apply the use of interesting and attractive packaging methods for child related-food products (Elliot, 2012). Foods that target children usually contain bright colours, cartoon/ media figures, large written text and nutritional claims in order to attract the attention of children (Elliot, 2012). Many children’s food packages used these popular colours and cartoonish font or cartoon figures because it is a powerful way to showcase the identity and characteristics of child related foods. For example, when we walking around in the Loblaws, we can easily identity where is the children’s food section.

Various containers printed Mickey Mouse, Hello Kitty, or Spongebob on the package of products in order to appeal to the child consumers. Elliott also mentions that companies would like to name their products in interesting and humorous ways in order to appeal children (Elliot, 2012). Overall, Elliot suggests that packaging is a powerful communicator, because it delivers messages from products to customers (Elliot, 2012). In terms of children’s foods, ‘Fun’ is used in connection with product characteristics in order to appeal to kids.

In my opinion, I agree with author as in this journal from personal experiences as a child and their realistic examples about child behavior with the art of persuasion on children’s food containers. As Elliot declared in the article, ‘fun’ is the key thesis found in the names of children’s food with their unusual outlooks and sometimes their unusual colours (Elliot, 2012). From my personal experience, the ‘Happy Meals’ combo for kids at McDonald’s could be a good example to represent the strategies Elliot mentioned in the article.

When I went to the McDonald’s with my 10-year-old cousin during the past summer holiday, she always pestered her parent to buy a ‘Happy Meal’ for herself. However, she almost ate nothing after her getting the ‘Happy Meal’. It’s hilarious to analyze because the only reason she wanted to get the ‘Happy Meal’ was for the free Hello Kitty toy within the combo. In addition, due to the fact the ‘Hello Kitty’ toy models changed every week during the ‘Hello Kitty’ seasonal promotion, my cousin pestered her parent bring her to McDonald’s every week in order to collect all the various ‘Hello Kitty’s and make a collection.

Through this example, it showcases how child-targeted marketing for food uses ‘fun’ strategy to appeal children, and encourages children to torment their parents to buy goods. Moreover, the children-food companies use online gaming tactics to persuade children to buy their products; these tactics such as multimedia games, online quizzes and cellphone apps, as Richtel (2011) mentioned in his article. Obviously, these online strategies are more powerful than TV, because TV advertisements have limited commercial time during children’s programming. However, there are no limited times for the internet (Richtel, 2011).

In terms of online games, is not only just games that could appeal children a lot, it is also a vivid advertisement to help company sell their products to children (Richtel, 2011). For intense, my cousin play the online game which is called ‘gummy bear’ first, before she actually eat the gummy bear candy for the first time. I fully agree with Richtel’s statement from the reading, he also gives out a real example of a child called Lesly. Lesly really enjoyed an online game, which is produced by a food companies in order to reaching children in the internet age (Richtel, 2011).

However in my opinion videos take children to a further level of marketing where they are connected to the game by their actions unlike television where it only demands your hearing and visual attention, while video games demand your attention to play the game. As a result, so many parents believe that online game is disrupting their efforts to improve their children’s diets. From personal experience, I had a similar shopping experience, which was influenced by my favorite online game ‘Angry birds’. ‘Angry Birds’ has become a popular mobile game in recent years.

Surprisingly, in 2011, the ‘Angry birds’ moon cake launch in Hong Kong during the traditional Chinese mid-autumn festival to share with the hundreds of millions of ‘Angry Birds’ fans worldwide. As an ‘angry birds’ fan, I also want to buy this special moon cake. Upon my arrival at the store, there were whole bunch of people already waiting in line; most of them were young people or children with their parents. Even though the ‘Angry Birds’ moon cake is more expensive than normal moon cake, it still sold out in a flash.

Throughout the readings from Gertner, he talked about the marketing campaigns for a family restaurant-Ozon. In order to draw the public awareness and generate traffic for the Ozon brand, the restaurant arrived with 4 different campaigns (Gertner, 2004). Finally, they decided to use the campaign called ‘Mom is hero’ in their strategy to appeal kids (Gertner, 2004). The reason why they decided to use this strategy is because the mother of a family plays the role of ‘gate-keeper’ when purchasing stuffs for their children (Gertner, 2004).

I remembered when I was a kid I always wanted ‘Pokemon’ toys, however the only thing I could do was to beg to my mom because I didn’t have any money to purchase them. I knew only my mom could decide whether or not to buy it for me because she had money, and she decided what was best for me, which at the time she thought ‘Pokemon’ was a waste of money. However, when mom bought the toys after I begged to her, I would assume my mother was really nice, just like a hero to satisfy my desire.

According to the reading, Ozon dedicate to create a place where children would have fun and the moms also could also feel satisfied she made her kid/kids happy (Gertner, 2004). This means that when mothers bring their children to Ozon, or buys food from Ozon, their kids will be happy and see their mom as a hero. I believe it is a very effective campaign, because it is not only focus on the marketing for children, but also focus on satisfying children’s mom. In other words, even though some products are attracting children, mothers are the true significant figure, who could finally decide the purchasing decision.

In conclusion, through all these kind of appealing children strategies, ‘mom is hero’ is the idea that I like the most, because it can be seen as a powerful win-win strategy focused on appealing not only the children but also decision-maker of the children- their mothers. Nevertheless, with the development with technology, the packaging strategy and online game are more far-reaching in recent times. Overall, in order to promote the packaging and online game strategy, I strongly suggest that they should also combine the idea of ‘mom is hero’ as well.