Posted by Sheila Shayon on November 8, 2011 02:02 PM
We are truly a society where "The king is the child," as epitomized by Burger King’s new BK Crown meal and tagline: "Imagination is King."
The fast food giant’s revamped kids meal is geared to woo the younger set and parents, as it aims to compete with McDonald's recently revamped Happy Meals in the highly competitive kids' quick-serve dining category.
While McDonald's put the emphasis on nutrition, the new BK Crown meals are served in boxes with interactive games and cardboard crowns recalling the chain's namesake, and now largely a ceremonial figurehead BK King, whose last duty appears to have been giving away Xbox Kinect devices when they launched a year ago.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on November 7, 2011 12:13 PM
As part of its branded channel original content push announced late last month, Google has signed a major player — Disney.
Disney Mobile is developing original Web series aimed at children for YouTube. The first is based on Where's My Water?, Disney's popular eco-friendly iPhone and iPad app.
"It's imperative to go where our audience is," James A. Pitaro, co-president of Disney Interactive, told the New York Times. With Disney.com not ready to relaunch until next year, the goal, he added, is to "bring Disney’s legacy of storytelling to a new generation of families and Disney enthusiasts on the platforms they prefer."
"It's an acknowledgment that we want to work with the best brands and, yes, we expect this partnership to attract new advertisers," added Robert Kyncl, YouTube’s global head for content partnerships.
Under the terms of the deal, Disney will produce eight original Web series to run on YouTube at any given time.
Posted by Shirley Brady on October 24, 2011 04:34 PM
Shaquille O'Neal may be retired from the NBA, but he's not hanging up his Santa Claus (sorry: Shaq-a-Claus) hat. Toys "R" Us and O'Neal are once again partnering to support the Marine Toys for Tots Foundation.
Through December 4th, Toys "R" Us, Babies "R" Us and Toys "R" Us Express stores across the U.S. are asking customers in stores and online to buy a toy to donate to a child in need, with the slogan of "Join Shaq. Give Back."
According to the press release, cash contributions will be accepted in stores and online through Christmas Eve. The Toys "R" Us Foundation will add an additional $250,000 donation to the funds raised, which reached $167,056 as of Monday morning.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on October 3, 2011 11:31 AM
The first cracks are appearing in the US federal governent's regulatory edifice regarding the tough new restrictions it is considering on marketing food to kids. And while CPG manufacturers aren't popping corks, they are encouraged that the government's Interagency Working Group (IWG) finally appears to be listening to their concerns — and those of several dozen congressmen and senators who have been pushing back as well.
In response to a letter from Rep. Fred Upton, a Michigan Republican, heads of three of the four agencies in the group — which consist of the FDA and other relevant regulators involved in the public effort — said that they anticipate "making significant changes to both the marketing and nutrition principles as [the IWG] develops final recommendations."
That is music to the ears of Dan Jaffe, executive vice president of the Association of National Advertisers, which has been heavily involved in the resistance to the regulators' proposed "voluntary" guidelines. As is, they would require food, beverage and restaurant brands to either modify products or cut out all marketing aimed at children under 18 for products that don't meet new nutrition standards.
The industry has been trying to get the Obama administration (and its recently intensified efforts) to let them attack the childhood-obesity problem on a self-regulatory basis, without imposing what they see as draconian government regulations.Continue reading...
no kidding around
Posted by Mark J. Miller on September 16, 2011 03:26 PM
This week we learned that Brits have a soft spot for Scooby Doo, naming the voracious mutt the healthiest cartoon for kids because he's always on the run (from ghosts and to hamburgers, but still...)
Now it's SpongeBob SquarePants' turn in the docket. The Nickelodeon staple has stuck around for a lot longer than most cartoons ever do. Its pilot episode hit television screens in May of 1999 and the franchise is stronger than ever. But even though it’s been around for (seemingly) forever, it’s now being accused of shortening the attention spans of the kids that are watching it.
Now, a University of Virginia study “claims to have found evidence that the TV show moves too fast for little kids, and thus erodes their ability to pay attention,” Bloomberg reports. This complaint, by, has been floating around about children’s television since at least the late ‘70s.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on September 15, 2011 09:56 AM
Chasing monsters, ghosts and other costumed villains has paid off for the Mystery Inc. gang.
Despite the constant scarfing down of Scooby Snax, burgers, pizza and chicken wings, Scooby Doo has just been named the "healthiest" cartoon character for British children to watch, along with his mystery-solving sidekicks.
The Scooby crew snagged #1 on the UK Department of Health's new ranking for being the most active (and thus the best role models for kids) based on 200 hours of cartoon-watching by the DoH, which separately is partnering with the LazyTown TV (#3 on the new list) to get kids up and moving.
The new ranking of DoH-approved cartoon characters:Continue reading...
Posted by Abe Sauer on August 3, 2011 05:00 PM
In a study that is making the rounds of outrage this week, it's revealed that American advertisers of "junk food" are using product placement to get around recent commitments by brands not to directly target children as regulators threaten to impose tougher guidelines on marketers. That the study comes out of Yale University is probably the reason it's being accepted with little to no scrutiny.
That's a shame, because while the study's bigger conclusion might still be true, with in-program product placement rising as commercial parameters get tougher, its methodology is questionable and proves only one thing about product placement: There isn't enough research.Continue reading...
Posted by Mark J. Miller on July 27, 2011 10:00 AM
A former employee at Toronto's Whole Foods may think the place is a "faux hippy Wal-Mart," as he mentioned in his extremely nasty, mass-emailed, 2,000-word resignation letter to all of the store’s thousands of employees, but that’s not stopping the company from fostering its wholesome image and starting up a charitable organization.
The Associated Press reports that the organic grocer's newly established philanthropic arm, the Whole Kids Foundation, “aims to provide children with access to healthy foods.” The plan is to “work with schools, educators, and other organizations to help improve children's food choices,” the report adds.
With a mission to "support schools and inspire families to improve children's nutrition," the first project the foundation will engage in is to follow in the footsteps of First Lady Michelle Obama and support teaching gardens this fall, so that kids can get a better sense of the food they eat by taking part in the growing process.Continue reading...