Tuesday, November 15, 2011

The Battle for Breakfast?

Think that Tony the Tiger is just a harmless breakfast icon?    Think again.

Despite what big food tries to convince you, here's the reality:

Defenders of kid marketing claim animated characters are simple, harmless fun. Unfortunately, this couldn’t be further from the truth. These characters are not some random creation. Rather, they are a well-calculated assault on children. For any given character, millions of dollars has been spent on the following:
  1. Researching the psyche of kids at each stage of childhood development
  2. Learning effective emotional triggers to create kid engagement, trust and purchase interest
  3. Understanding story frameworks to make sure they are interesting to kids
  4. Testing and re-testing advertising concepts and final commercials to ensure they will drive increased consumption among kids
With the help of advertising agencies, research firms, and brand character specialists like Character LLC, Big Food companies launch advertising smart bombs, disguised as fun-loving characters, straight at kids.
It is truly amazing that when you do a side by side comparison of Frosted Flakes to an ice cream sandwich, you'd actually be better off giving your kids an ice-cream sandwich for breakfast.   

And, as the blogger notes, the size of the Frosted Flakes portion is vastly undersized, so you're feeding your kid even more calories, sodium and fat. 

As the author points out, Kellogg's spends nearly $20 million annually marketing just Frosted Flakes.   Tony the Tiger represents big money, and it's not money spent in your kids' best interest.

The author says it well, "Kid's Marketing . .  .  It's Just Not a Fair Fight."


  1. I love cereal in the morning and actually grew up eating Frosties.. but the calories and sugar is amazing, and no one ever has 1 serving. Two or three servings with a full serving of milk is about 500 calories.. amazing.

    My breakfast is now either an fried egg sandwich (50 cal slice bread = 170 calories total) or weetabix (120 calories) with half a serving of almond milk.

    On some weekends, I have sardines on toast which is higher in calories, but I really struggle to get fat into my diet and I grew up on sardines anyway.

    Like most things though, it takes research and effort to work on each meal. Parents should be actively looking at stuff like this and understanding what all that crap does to their kids.

  2. Im sooo seeing the impact of all this only NOW in my five year old too.
    the icons and the movie tie ins.

    hold me :)