Hey kids! Buy this! Can marketing to kids be responsible?

marketing-to-kids-soft-drinks-soda

Everyone knows soft drinks are bad for your health and teeth, but the biggest soda companies have continued their advertising onslaught, with much of their marketing directed at kids.

As a marketer and a mom, Andrea Moretsky has a unique take on soft drink marketing, and she shared it on Parent Map in Marketing Soda to Kids: Curb the Carbonation. Here’s an excerpt:

Let’s face it. As parents we don’t have the time or energy to fight every battle. It’s exhausting. But, this is one that I have decided to put some effort into.

However, marketers are not making this easy for me.

Soda is everywhere. Restaurants, parties, movie theaters, amusements parks, ice cream parlors, special events and vending machines galore. Advertisers have done a brilliant job instilling that you’ll have more fun with 41 grams of sugar gliding through your veins. #Responsiblemarketingfail.

In case you hadn’t noticed, we have a few parents here at Outsource Marketing, and we’re not real keen on the whole idea of marketing to kids.

We’ve panned junk food advertisers, a company that sells lingerie to tweens, and another that sold glamour to little girls. We’ve questioned companies marketing to teens and tweens at sporting events and cheerleader camps, and in the school cafeteria. And who could forget Andrea telling Abercrombie & Fitch to take their apology and suck it after their CEO’s comments admitting they excluded kids that didn’t match their definition of “cool.”

So, can marketing to kids ever be responsible?

The question is ultimately rooted in the marketer’s intent. Just in the last month, we’ve created ads for kid’s accounts at a credit union, and designed playful, but instructive bookmarks to be handed out at a community event. Our client’s intent was to encourage kids to save and learn a responsible approach to money management. It wasn’t to encourage behavior that rots teeth, and is considered among the greatest contributors to childhood obesity, diabetes and heart disease.

It doesn’t take a responsible marketer to appreciate the difference.

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Image Credit: MinMit

 

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