Customer experience expert gives her take on how it all went wrong for the once-powerful global company that lost its brand values.
Study finds that children are being exposed to a brand every minute
By our News Team | 2022
Research emphasises how our children live in a highly commercialised world; one that bombards them constantly with consumption messages.
Attaching cameras to children has revealed that they are exposed to 554 brands a day through marketing, a new study from the University of Otago in New Zealand has found.
Research co-lead, Associate Professor Leah Watkins from the Department of Marketing at the university, says the results highlight an urgent need to reduce marketing for both personal and planetary health reasons.
To obtain the data, wearable automatic cameras were given to 90 children, aged 11 to 13, to provide an unprecedented view of their daily exposure to marketing over two full days. The study found the kids were exposed to 554 brands in a 10-hour day, which equates to nearly a brand a minute.
Photo by Ksenia Chernaya from Pexels
Most of these exposures occurred in school (43 percent), at home (30 percent), and in-store (12 percent). The exposures were most commonly on brand labels (46 percent), product packaging (22 percent) and commercial signage (13 percent).
Professor Watkins says children live in a highly commercialised world; one that bombards them with consumption messages.
While she expected to see advertising for unhealthy products, she found the relatively high number of those ‘unhealthy’ messages – in comparison to positive social and ‘healthy’ food messages – concerning. Also concerning, is the finding that there are links between socio-economic status and exposure to harmful advertising.
“This is alarming given the high rates of obesity, alcohol, and gambling harm in socio-economically deprived neighbourhoods,” Watkins says.
Inequalities among children may be accentuated
“It suggests marketing messages may accentuate inequities and place further pressure on those who are already disadvantaged.”
Watkins says not only do the results raise concerns about marketing’s role in promoting products directly harmful to public health, but also its role in encouraging overconsumption.
“One of the major threats to planetary health is overconsumption, and the current and continued increases in consumption are unsustainable,” she explains.
The United Nations has called on member states to reduce the level of commercial marketing; to identify spaces which should be free of marketing, such as schools; and to ensure a wider diversity of pro-social messaging.
Watkins hopes the research will stimulate important discussions about the policies needed to achieve this for the next generation.
The study is co-authored by Research Fellow Ryan Gage, Professor Louise Signal and Senior Research Fellow Moira Smith – all from the university’s Department of Public Health in Wellington, as well as Lecturer Christina McKerchar from the Department of Population Health in Christchurch, and Professor Robert Aitken from the Department of Marketing.
The team plans to further investigate children’s exposure to marketing in schools through an audit of marketing activities, as schools were the site for a significant number of marketing exposures. A pilot study using software to track children’s online exposure to marketing is also underway.
Read the full research here: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S2542519621002904#!
Continent set to outpace projected global average and be the second-fastest-growing region after Asia, says macro-economic report.
Gathering is for the growing number of OOH entrepreneurs in Africa who are pioneering new ways to reach increasingly affluent audiences.
At least four global conglomerates have announced they are exiting the country. There are concerns that more may follow.
Youth agency discusses key marketing trends that will resonate with Generation Z consumers in an authentic and impactful way.
Two industry bodies team up to establish clear and consistent definitions and measurement guidelines for ads in Augmented Reality campaigns.
Study emphasises the impact of nostalgia on consumer behaviour, and how typography in ads and marketing material is a key influencer.
News reports say 14 infringement notices are being issued to organisations for contravening consumer-protection laws.
Brands will need to understand and tap into culture in a more nuanced and empathetic way than ever before, says Ogilvy.
This year’s conference and awards dinner takes place at Victoria Falls in May, under the theme ‘Elevate-Innovate-Thrive’.
Kalu has been with the agency since 2016 and brings a wide range of experience and professional expertise to his new role.