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Entries in Marketing (4)

Thursday
Dec292011

Jennifer Hudson Shows Dramatic Weight Loss in New Ad

Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- The results of Jennifer Hudson’s body transformation have never been more apparent than in her latest Weight Watchers commercial, in which she sings alongside a heavier version of herself.

On the left, Hudson is shown in 2004, at 23, on American Idol. On the right, Hudson is shown as she looks today, seven years older and 80 pounds lighter. She sings The Four Tops’ “I Believe in You and Me” as Weight Watchers' slogan "Believe, Because It Works" appears behind her.

Hudson became the spokesperson for the weight-loss program in 2010. Her commitment to getting fit also led her to walk away from the lead role in the Oscar-winning film Precious.

In her new book, I Got This: How I Changed My Ways and Lost What Weighed Me Down, Hudson writes that after putting on pounds for Dreamgirls (which won her an Oscar), she “wanted to try a role that had nothing whatsoever to do with my weight.”

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Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Aug162011

Cartoons on Food Boxes Create Nagging Children

PRNewsFoto/Nickelodeon(BALTIMORE) -- It's a tried-and-true marketing method: Slap a famous cartoon on food boxes and odds are children will be more likely to seek the food out at the store. But research now suggests that silly cartoons appearing on food boxes may also determine whether children will pester their mothers to buy the food and also the level of nagging parents are likely to experience.

Researchers analyzed surveys and interviews from 64 mothers who had children between the ages of three and five. The mothers were asked questions about family eating and shopping habits, their use of media and how they dealt with their children's nagging.

The study, published in the Journal of Children and Media, found that packaging, characters and commercials all contributed to whether children pestered their mothers. The children who watched more television commercials were more likely to nag for foods that included cartoons on the packaging, even if they didn't like the food, researchers said.

"She picks up the characters by osmosis," one mother who took part in the study said of her four-year-old daughter.

The bind that many parents face is that many of the foods that advertise popular characters are oftentimes not healthy, said Dina Borzekowski, associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and co-author of the study.

"We know marketing works, so the trick is to make it work for healthier products," said Borzekowski.

Another mother of a four-year-old boy said, "It really became clear to me how much TV impacts his preferences when he asked me to go to Burger King and I said, 'Why Burger King?' and he replied he had seen it on TV."

While researchers did not cite specific packages, mothers who were interviewed said the characters or commercials that drew the most attention were Dora the Explorer, Elmo, SpongeBob and Scooby Doo.

But the so-called "nag factor" didn't stop there. The children who watched the most commercial TV also engaged almost equally in different types of nagging -- juvenile nagging, nagging to test boundaries and manipulative nagging.

Juvenile nagging consists of repeatedly asking for items, whining and even flailing arms and stomping feet. Children nagged to test boundaries by throwing a public tantrum and putting items in the cart even as their mother said no. Manipulative nagging consists of sweet-talking the mother, or even saying that other children possessed the item.

"Our study indicates that manipulative nagging and overall nagging increased with age," Holly Henry, a co-author of the study and a doctoral candidate at Johns Hopkins, said in a statement. Mothers of five-year-olds recalled more negative nagging experiences, researchers said.

"It's been a battle with my child," said one mother. "No reward in whining." "Giving in was consistently cited as one of the least effective strategies," said Henry.

Thirty-six percent of the mothers studied dealt with the nagging by limiting their child's exposure to commercials. And researchers said that may be one of the most effective ways to limit a child's nagging and consumption of potentially unhealthy foods.

Researchers also suggested not going to the store with a child, or trying to explain to a child before heading out why they would be tempted to buy certain types of foods and avoid buying others.

"I don't think marketing is going away anytime soon, said Borzekowski. "We need to help parents deal with the current situation."

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Thursday
Apr282011

US Government Asks Food Firms to Stop Marketing Junk to Kids

Christopher Robbins/Digital Vision/Thinkstock(WASHINGTON) -- The federal government proposed new guidelines Thursday that urge the food industry to market only healthy foods to children.

The proposal recommends foods marketed to children should “provide a meaningful contribution to a healthy diet,” containing either fruits, vegetables, whole grains, low-fat milk or lean proteins.  The guidelines also urge food companies to stop targeting children with ads for foods with high levels of saturated fat, trans fat, sugar and sodium.

These recommendations -- proposed jointly by the Federal Trade Commission, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and the Food and Drug Administration -- are not mandatory, they’re just recommendations.  They are open to public comment for 45 days.

The agencies are asking the food industry to follow these new guidelines at some point in the next five years.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Nov232010

FTC Asked to Investigate Faulty Online Health Marketing

Photo Courtesy -- Getty Images(WASHINGTON) – The Federal Trade Commission has been called on to investigate potentially illegal marketing practices that target a growing number of Americans seeking medical information and treatment online.

In a complaint filed with the FTC, the Center for Digital Democracy, U.S. PIRG, Consumer Watchdog and the World Privacy Forum called on the commission to protect consumers from insecurely providing personal data when looking for health information and services on the Internet.

The filing has asked that the FDA, which has been pressured to expand the rights of health marketers online, await a study and report from the FTC before taking any action.

At issue are the types of online targeting techniques and methods used by advertisers and what type of personal data is being collected through those methods.

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