Molly Stephens, Advertising Assistant Comments are closed for this post Advertising, Branding

Promoting Nutrition, Disney to Restrict Junk-Food Ads

Often, I find myself thinking about brands and the marketing strategy behind each platform.

I tend to walk down the aisles of a grocery store and wonder how each brand evolved, what research was conducted and how was the advertising strategy was developed?

Back in March, I was reminded by this video, how influential children’s programming can be.

The television show, ANT Farm, on The Disney Channel, taught a 6-year-old viewer how to perform the Heimlich Maneuver when someone is choking.  The child was able to save her classmate’s life during lunch time, when a peer was choking across the table from her.

This morning, I was captivated by the article “Promoting Nutrition, Disney to Restrict Junk-Food Ads”, in The New York Times.

“The Walt Disney Company, in an effort to address concerns about entertainment’s role in childhood obesity, plans to announce on Tuesday that all products advertised on its child-focused television channels, radio stations and Web sites must comply with a strict new set of nutritional standards.”

I love that Disney recognizes itself as a strong influence to their viewers, especially ages 12 and below.

In an effort to take a stand against childhood obesity, Disney will refrain from advertising products such as Kraft Lunchables and Capri Sun.  Disney will hold to their promise of fighting childhood obesity, even if they lose advertising dollars from big names like Kellogg’s and Pepsi.

Moreover, Disney will also “reduce the amount of sodium by 25 percent in the 12 million children’s meals served annually at its theme parks, and create what it calls fun public service announcements promoting child exercise and healthy eating.”

In addition to these nutritional milestones, Disney has also introduced a “Mickey Check” to appear on products in grocery stores.

You can learn more about the new standards here.

I believe Disney is doing what any good brand SHOULD be doing.  They are using their marketing efforts, influence and branding power to fight against childhood obesity.  My hope is that other brands will follow their lead and do what is best for not only their brand but for those who are “brand loyal”.

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