Monday, March 16, 2009

Kids in America

I've examined the use of online games by companies like Kellogg's to market their cereals (most of them sugary and unhealthy) to kids using these interactive tools. I found this article from CNET that looks further into how companies are subconsciously working their way into childrens' minds: virtual worlds, geared towards kids 7 to 14. 

The article, "Are kids ready for ads in virtual worlds?" raises that very questions, an important one, many of us want to raise our kids to decipher what is advertising. Olsen points out the ease of building brand affinity with children in these environments because they consider their online activity as "playing," naturally associating included brands or products with good feelings. For example, avatars users create on can test drive Toyota Scions.

With respect to the sugary cereal commercials almost exclusively targeting children, these types of engaging methods could certainly build stronger brand relationships as kids grow up. If I'm a 9-year-old driving my Toyota Scion via my Whyville avatar, maybe when I'm 15 that will be the first car that enters my mind as I get my permit. 

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