As US regulators are proposing new restrictions on advertising junk food to kids, the NY Times asks, “Will Toucan Sam go the way of Joe Camel?”
“Citing an epidemic of childhood obesity, regulators are taking aim at a range of tactics used to market foods high in sugar, fat or salt to children, including the use of cartoon characters like Toucan Sam, the brightly colored Froot Loops pitchman, who appears in television commercials and online games as well as on cereal boxes.”
Like anyone else, I’d love to stamp out childhood obesity and do everything we can to create safer, healthier environments for kids. But I think the government is pointing at the wrong guy (or bird) when they single out Toucan Sam. According to the CDC, childhood obesity among children 6 to 11 was 6.5% in 1980, and then experienced a steep climb — to 19.6% — over the next 30 years.
Toucan Sam started pitching Froot Loops in 1963, though, so what explains his poor performance for the first half of his career? (Joe Camel hit the scene in 1987.) And how does one explain the popularity of Coke, Snickers bars and Twinkies among young people, given that they don’t use cartoon animals in their commercials?
Pulling data from GfK MRI’s Study of the American Consumer, Adweek took a look at what the rich are reading. It’s kind of fun to see The Costco Connection among the most popular magazines. You have to wonder, is it their cost-consciousness that landed them in the top tax bracket?? But what’s more interesting is this: The most popular publications, it turns out, generally aren’t scoring so well when it comes to audience engagement. Among the top 10 most commonly read publications by rich Americans, only Consumer Reports and National Geographic are also top 10-ers when it comes to time spent reading each issue.
The other key difference between these lists: The magazines most popular among the rich are the same magazines that are most popular with lower-income Americans too. In other words, while Reader’s Digest, AARP and People are popular among older rich people, they’re also popular among older poor people — “wastage” in the eyes of many advertisers. The CPMs are much higher for magazines on the “most time spent” list.
Are they getting premium ad rates because their readers are more engaged, or just because they have fewer readers with low household incomes?
“Pixazza, a Google Ventures-backed photo tagging service that has been compared to an ‘AdSense for Images,’ has hired a new executive officer today, appointing Terry Murphy has Chief Financial Officer. The company has also surpassed 100 million unique visitors per month, which is up from 70 million unique visitors per month in March.”
Jean at NOTCOT encouraged Roma (my daughter) and me to taste the wares at Smitten Ice Cream in Hayes Valley, and she posted our iPhone pictures on her site. She gives me too much credit. The best pics, such as this one, are the product of my 9-year-old’s thumb.
When a client played this for me today, it took me a second to realize it wasn’t a spoof. A fabulous spoof with 350,000 views. Maybe that’s the secret for brands seeking a viral hit: Re-release your TV commercials from the 80s and 90s!