Tag Archives: marketing

McDonald’s and Burger King Violate Children’s Advertising Agreement Making Up 99 Percent of All Fast Food Ads Aimed at Kids

McDonald’s and Burger King agreed to advertise only healthy food offerings as part of the Children’s Food and Beverage Advertising Initiative. Let’s see if they’ve kept their word.

INFOGRAPHIC

When it comes to child marketing, McDonald’s and Burger King are selling the experience, not the food.

The above study, funded and published by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, has found the two largest fast food corporations aren’t as dumb as they look. They’ve figured out that showcasing their food is actually a bad idea. Obviously McDonald’s and Burger King cannot self-regulate their ads aimed at children. The facts are anything but elementary, as the tactics of these fast food behemoths are prolonging the childhood obesity epidemic. One-third of our children remain obese.

99 percent of all fast food ads aimed at children came courtesy of two companies.

Any guesses? Not a tough one here, folks. McDonald’s and Burger King placed 44,602 and 37,210 ads aimed at kids, respectively. This is disconcerting. Despite big fast food’s efforts to increase healthy offerings, the burgers, fries, and nuggets peddled in kid’s meals are highly caloric, highly fatty, and highly processed. To this day, no one really knows what McDonald’s chicken nuggets are made of.

Side note: A 3.3oz serving of McDonald’s eggs, which should be one of their healthiest menu items, contains 20 ingredients and 173 percent of your daily cholesterol intake. Just sayin’. (more…)

Major Organic Brands Still Funding Anti-GMO Labeling Efforts in Front of Washington’s I-522 Vote

I-522

They’re at it again, and this time just a little more sneakily than before. Not only are some of the biggest brands in organic and earth-friendly food still supporting anti-labeling campaigns, but now they’re trying to do it in secret.

A new infographic produced by Cornucopia.org shows which brands still oppose the labeling of GMOs. What’s more, after facing major backlash from their opposition to Prop 37, many of those corporations hid behind membership in the Grocery Manufacturers Association (GMA) to secretly continue funding anti-labeling measures. (more…)

Monsanto Named a Great Place to Work While Making the Earth a Terrible Place to Live

There is something truly rotten about Monsanto.

The bio tech agricultural giant has been named #12 in the “prestigious” World’s Best Multinational Workplaces by Great Place to Work. A dubious award, considering this innocent Google search:

why monsanto is...

Evil, bad, unethical, and harmful. Sounds like a really great place to work, huh? More on that in a minute, but let’s discuss the merit of this particular award first.

Great Places to Work is a San Francisco-based research and consulting firm that decided three years ago to begin naming the best places in the world to work. The criteria is based on workplace culture, and companies can only be eligible for the list if they have at least 5,500 employees—40 percent of which must work outside the company’s home country.

These accolades, bestowed upon 25 companies, aren’t based on ethics, fair business practices, or community service—they are survey-based and reflect the feelings of millions of employees from thousands of different companies. All of Monsanto’s happy employees might frown if they knew about the evil practices of their employer. The fact that McDonald’s—the fast food chain that basically admitted their full-time employees couldn’t survive on their wages—made this list even more suspect.

In short, Monsanto has not won a humanitarian or global stewardship award, and probably never will. (more…)

Peyton and LeBron Earn Big Bucks Endorsing Junk Food for Kids

Athletes are paid enormous salaries, and make even more, millions more in fact, in endorsement deals. It’s logical that many of the endorsements are with athlete-friendly brands, like David Beckham for Adidas or the bevy of pro and Olympic athletes who appear in Subway commercials. It makes sense, athletes supporting exercise gear and healthy food choices.

peyton manning

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Help Fund BluFit, the Smarter Water Bottle That Keeps You Hydrated

A new start-up is attempting to see that we’re all hydrated properly and have some fun in the process. The bottle is far from the ordinary, as it is equipped with a Bluetooth LE chip that takes readings from the water flow sensor inside. All of these functions sync with the accompanying app, which allows users to enter their weight, gender, and age for customized hydration goals. A sensor on the bottle can even detect temperature and humidity to adjust and give you an accurate hydration-needs assessment.

BluFit Water Bottles are trying to drown one of our country’s biggest health woes, which is coincidentally one of our most under-publicized health issues – hydration. Many people subsist on soda and coffee almost exclusively and, as a result, many children and adults are often mildly dehydrated on a regular basis. A host of side effects can occur as a result of dehydration, but know that it can slow down thinking and even impede weight loss efforts.bluefit

We could just tell you to drink more water, follow that eight, eight-ounce glasses a day rule, but it’s really not that simple. The hydration needs vary quite a bit by individual, so it’s kind of cool that this new company has emerged with some flashy new ways to get you excited about hydration. (more…)

Google Killed Diet-Blog.com; Owners Start Over by Launching HealthyEater.com

The blogging world is a fickle game. To do it successfully requires a near constant flow of new content and monitoring of news and trends, exceptional adaptability, and of course, money. Like many sites did during the 2011 Google Panda rollout, Diet-Blog fell out of the search giant’s good graces, for no particular reason or fault of their own. Admittedly, it happened to the best of us. But he’s trying to get it back with a new domain. “If Google likes that, great. If Google doesn’t, too bad,” James Foster told us.

He’s the owner of the once-popular website Diet-Blog.com, which stopped producing any new content this month. Foster had to adapt to the fluid nature in which people consume media, and is fresh off the launch of his new web venture, HealthyEater.com.

website closed

In 2004, Foster bought a domain name and used a cheap server to fire out his opinions on the wishy washy culture of diet and weight loss publications. Diet-Blog became a hot spot for sharing opinions on fitness, weight loss, and food, but the financial and time demands of keeping a blog topical on a daily basis took its toll.

“Back 7-8 years ago you could have a blog with poor design, cheap hosting, and spend half an hour a day on it,” said Foster. “Nowadays you need a site that works on all devices, you need to have a fast server, so the costs are much higher.” (more…)

Special K Rethinks Jeans Shopping With a Smart and Inspirational Marketing Campaign

Recently, a new (to me) commercial for Special K caught my eye. The commercial shows a number of different women entering a department store called “Rethink Your Jeans.” As they browse the racks looking for jeans to try on, they notice that there aren’t any sizes marked on the labels. A woman who works at the store emerges asking if she can measure a female shopper. As she wraps the measuring tape around the shopper’s waist she remarks “you are radiant.” There’s a shot of women’s feet under the doors in the dressing room exclaiming things like “I’m size strong” and “I like that size!”. Another woman adds, “Not seeing the number is so freeing!”

Simple text is shown on a white background reading “Let’s rethink what defines us” while a woman’s voice says, “To feel amazing, I think that’s what makes a woman beautiful.”

special k more than a number

I’ll be honest here. I’m not really a fan of Special K’s products and haven’t purchased any in recent memory. However, I really dig this commercial and its message. It might come off as a little cliche and cheesy but it resonates with me. Apparently the sizes written on clothing labels in certain stores are proportionately smaller than they really are in order to “flatter” the buyers. As someone who will avoid buying jeans one size larger because I don’t want to have to buy that next size up (even if they would be much more comfortable!) I know just how much power that number can hold over our minds. I know that clothes shopping would definitely be a more positive experience if the sizes on the labels were replaced with words like “inspiring” and “strong.” (more…)

Atkins Diet to Resurface with a New Approach to the Same Low Carb Plan

When you hear Atkins, you probably immediately think “low-carb diet.” Most of us recall that name being synonymous with the fad of high-protein diets in the early 2000s. Now, the Atkins brand is resurfacing with a refreshed image and an attempt to break free of its previously held stereotypes.

A recent article in Advertising Age discussed the shifts in power at the diet food company and spoke with the current Chief Marketing Officer, Scott Parker. In addition to offering free online tools and selling Atkins brand foods in the grocery stores, Atkins is working to rework their image. Parker told Advertising Age that the company went off track several years ago and many lost sight of what the plan was really about.

atkins

“The diet fundamentally teaches you to eat a balanced menu, it never did tell you to eat nothing but bacon and eggs,” he said. “But that is what word-of-mouth became and people literally were doing their own makeshift diet and they didn’t have a very good experience because they didn’t do it correctly.”

They’ll be working hard to get their name out there, as the report stated Atkins Nutritionals, which did not return comment in time for publication, will be increasing their spending by 50 percent this year. This rebranding will take place as many similar diets have really hit the mainstream and one can assume Atkins wants to get a piece of that consumer pie. (more…)

Octavia Spencer Sues Sensa for $700,000 After Sponsorship Goes Sour

The proverbial chocolate pie is hitting Sensa in the face, magic diet sprinkles and all. Octavia Spencer, the actress who won an Oscar for her performance in “The Help,” is suing the weight loss company Sensa for alleged fraud and breach of contract. Sensa markets tiny crystals called “tastants,” designed to be sprinkled on all types of food with the intention of making the eater feel fuller faster, thus eating less. It’s supposed to be automatic portion control, and when Spencer lost five pounds on the stuff last August, a $1.25 million sponsorship deal quickly materialized, tastants fall as they may.

But as with all sponsorships, marketing campaigns hinge on a fickle balance of popularity and exposure, and Sensa decided Spencer wasn’t exactly a trending topic. The company wasn’t pleased with the lackluster social media response generated by Spencer’s dimming star, and began to find a way out of the contract. (more…)

Retrofit Announces a New Half-Price Advisor Program, Debuts New Commercial

The word retrofit means to add new technology or features to older systems, and the weight loss company of the same name has done exactly that. With the use of state of the art fitness monitoring technology and a team of wellness experts offering hands on instruction to clients, Retrofit has experienced a 90 percent success rate and revolutionized the way people lose weight. There’s just one problem, it costs a lot of money to provide high tech gadgets and 24/7 client support, so Retrofit’s 12-month package hovered around the $3,000 range. In an effort to reach a broader audience, and make it less cost prohibitive for the people who need Retrofit most, the company recently announced a new, more affordable product – Retrofit Advisor.

Retrofit Advisor will feature the same successful products and services as the premium packages, but will cost half as much. Retrofit’s two high tier packages guarantee a 10 percent weight loss and a 15 percent weight loss, respectively. With the Advisor, there is no guarantee, and clients are assigned one weight loss advisor as opposed to three weight loss experts. (more…)