In Online Games, a Path to Young Consumers
Posted in: Child Protection&Online Safety at 21/04/2011 16:31
Deep into one of her favorite computer games, Lesly Lopez, 10, moves her mouse to click on a cartoon bee. She drags and drops it into an empty panel, creating her own comic strip.
Lesly likes this online game so much that she plays twice a week, often e-mailing her creations to friends. "I always send them to my cousin in Los Angeles," she said.
But this is not just a game -- it is also advertising. Create a Comic, as it is called, was created by General Mills to help it sell Honey Nut Cheerios to children.
McDonald's Makes Subtle Play for Children Online
McWorld, a Web site for children sponsored by McDonald's, offers visitors the chance to create characters, decorate digital treehouses and go on a quest in a virtual world.
French fries, hamburgers and apple pies are nowhere to be seen.
This is the latest in online marketing, where the hope is that a site's visitor will naturally associate the brand with a pleasurable activity. It is a type of advertising that has less in common with a 30-second television spot than with a product placement in a movie.