How Children react to TV food advertisements

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Offline M H Parvez

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How Children react to TV food advertisements
« on: May 04, 2018, 10:33:35 PM »
Many companies advertise food and have a tendency to include fantasies when targeted towards children. This is one of the persuasive ways which companies can use to advertise to children, along with promotional characters and premium offers. A study from Australia found that the rate of promotional characters in advertisements is twice as high during popular children's programs compared to popular adult programs. Examples of promotional characters include celebrities, cartoon characters and sports stars, this is as these characters increase the persuasiveness of the advertisements on both children and adults. Premium offers is another persuasive marketing which includes competitions, giveaways and vouchers, the same study found that unhealthy food advertisements contain 18 times as many premium offers during children's program in comparison to adult programs.

Often children do not have an understanding of the persuasive intent that advertising has. This starts to develop in children by the age of eight and young children lack any insight into the purpose of advertisements. This can lead to a potentially deceptive and manipulative understanding of promotional advertising that may be biased. Evidence of this was seen in a study by the Journal of Advertising who saw that children are more absorbed in the advertisement if it has a fantasy appeal due to children having a preference towards it. Children become absorbed in the fantasy making them more susceptible to these advertisements and placing less emphasis on the facts such as nutritional information or ingredients. Examples of these fantasies would be advertisements which are animal related, adventurous or the product comes alive creating a hyperreality/ fantasy driven world, in which the children are drawn to and associates with the product.

Another study found that there are four routes in which advertising can affect children. The first route is the motivational arousal created in the advertisements. This generates expectations which can direct consumer behaviour, occasionally more powerfully that physical consumption does. The second route is the psychological linkage between exposure to advertising and purchasing of advertised products. This aspect refers to the feelings and emotion that accompany the purchase and consumption of the advertised product such as satisfaction and happiness. Resulting in some consumers feeling an emotional connection during decision making which can lead to less cognitive noise. The third aspect refers to the entertainment dimension of advertising which regularly creates a positive mood and increases the possibility of positive judgement. On the other hand, can result in reduced systematic information, this minimizes children's ability to recognise and understand the persuasive purpose of advertising. The final factor links the 3 other factors together and refers to children's capability to interpret the persuasive nature of advertising.

Source: Wiki
M M Hasan Parvez
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