Food-related advertising on preschool television: building brand recognition in young viewers.
Sommaire de l'article
OBJECTIVES: This study used content analysis to explore how much and what type of advertising is present in television programming aimed at toddlers and preschool-aged children and what methods of persuasion are being used to sell products and to promote brands to the youngest viewers. METHODS: Four randomly selected, 4-hour blocks (9 am to 1 pm) were recorded in spring 2005 from each of 3 stations airing programming aimed specifically at toddlers and preschool-aged children (Public Broadcasting Service, Disney, and Nickelodeon). All content that aired in the spaces between programs was examined. Data recorded for food-related advertisements included the primary appeals used to promote products or brands, whether advertisements were aimed at children or adults, whether advertisements used primarily animation or live action, whether advertisements showed food, and whether licensed characters were used. RESULTS: In 96 half-hour blocks of preschool programming, the 3 stations had a total of 130 food-related advertisements (1.354 food advertisements per half-hour). More than one half of all food advertisements (76 of 130 advertisements) were aimed specifically at children, and the majority of those were for fast food chains (50 advertisements) or sweetened cereals (18 advertisements). The primary advertising appeals used associated products with fun and happiness and/or with excitement and energy. Fast food advertisements in particular seemed to focus on building brand recognition and positive associations, through the use of licensed characters, logos, and slogans. CONCLUSIONS: The majority of child-oriented food advertisements viewed seemed to take a branding approach, focusing on creating lifelong customers rather than generating immediate sales. Promotional spots on advertisement-supported (Nickelodeon) and sponsor-supported (Public Broadcasting Service and Disney) networks took similar approaches and used similar appeals, seeming to promote the equation that food equals fun and happiness.