By Sandra Jones, University of Wollongong and Jeffrey Thom, University of Wollongong
Advergaming is a relatively recent approach to advertising that overcomes many of the limitations of traditional advertising. But advergames are increasingly being used by fast food companies to target children by rewarding play with unhealthy food products.
A simple definition of an advergame is one that promotes a particular brand, product or message by integrating it into play.
In its earliest form, advergaming was simply passive advertising within a game, such as billboard placement in a car racing simulation. But it quickly evolved to the point where advertising became integral to the game, and brands (particularly food brands) began developing their own games.
Now, the game is the advert, immersing the player-customer in an interactive, personalised and extended interaction with a brand and its messages.
These games are designed to engage players to such an extent that they form strong relationships with the brand and consume more of it.
What the research says
The proliferation of food-related advergaming has been followed by research into the extent of its effects.
Results suggest young people actively engage with advergames and are more likely to eat unhealthy foods after playing them. While the same also holds for healthy advergames, they are much less common.
With the advent of high-resolution game capabilities on smartphones and other mobile devices, advergames have moved far beyond something people play at home on their console or desktop computer.
Games on mobile social networking sites, for instance, are more likely to attract and retain the interest of today’s technology-savvy children than those on static brand websites.
Angry chickens and junk food winners
Two current gamification marketing campaigns demonstrate the ability of savvy marketers to reach directly into our daily lives. Both campaigns (or apps) require players to download a digital artefact of the brand to their mobile phones.
It represents classic gamification strategy – participants earn points (or stars) by completing challenges, in this case by helping popcorn chickens escape from the lair of Dr SnackBot by propelling them into the mouth of Colonel Sanders. Players then share their scores with friends and earn KFC products as rewards.
While verifiable metrics for smartphone usage among those under 18 years of age are difficult to obtain (as the devices they use are owned by parents and guardians), the use of the Angry Birds-style game demonstrates a clear target market.
A January 2013 study of 13,000 eight to 14-year-olds showed games that resemble Angry Birds are most addictive for this age group.
Hungry Jack’s “Check-In & Win” aims to encourage immediate purchases with time-sensitive offers.
Once this app is downloaded onto your smartphone, you will be prompted to “check-in” when you’re within a kilometre of a Hungry Jack’s outlet. All you have to do then is shake your phone and win an instant prize.
Strategies and codes
What’s particularly insidious about both of these advergames is the amount of personal data they collect. Both use GPS technology and send push notifications (messages that pop up on screen) to the player’s mobile device.
Both connect to the player’s Facebook profile and collect their personal details and list of friends; they connect to their Twitter feed; and both encourage players to share the app (and their scores) with their friends on social network platforms.
As a form of advertising, these games are subject to the relevant Codes of Practice – such as the Australian Association of National Advertisers (AANA) Food & Beverages Marketing & Communications Code and the AANA Code for Advertising & Marketing Communications to Children.
The latter states that such advertising must:
include a statement that the Child must obtain parental consent prior to engaging in any activity that will result in the disclosure of such personal information.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t provide any regulations on how such consent must be obtained; the child can just press a button to confirm that her parents have consented.
The future of junk food advertising?
The impact of these advergames on purchase behaviour outstrips old-school advertising campaigns as can be seen by the budgets allocated to the campaigns and publicly available sales data.
While the companies are a little more circumspect in releasing profit data, less than two weeks into the Hungry Jack’s campaign, Clemenger BBDO was already claiming:
It has been a huge success, with over one million downloads and accounting for a several million dollars’ worth of incremental revenue.
The impact of these games on food choices is clear. The “several million dollars” in “incremental revenue” represents thousands of unhealthy food choices. But the impact of these games goes far beyond immediate food choices.
The endless hours children spend playing games that subtly link junk food to positive emotions will likely have consequences far beyond the closing date of the marketing campaign.
Sandra Jones is the holder of an Australian Research Council Future Fellowship. She also receives funding from a range of government and NGO grant schemes (including the Cancer Council, Cancer Institute, Department of Justice, and FARE. Jeffrey Thom does not work for, consult to, own shares in or receive funding from any company or organisation that would benefit from this article, and has no relevant affiliations.
Editors note: Click here to Find a Local Farmer
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Do You Know Your Body’s Most Important Weight Loss Secret?
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | HEALTHY FATS | REMEDIES
Recently, Doctor of Naturopathy, weight-loss expert and best-selling Amazon author Liz Swann Miller, creator of the Red Smoothie Detox Factor, revealed 2 of the secrets to easy, steady weight loss. Secrets the big food corporations do their best to hide from us.
Secret #1: Enjoy real food. Don’t fall for the lie that you have to deprive yourself to lose weight.
Secret #2: stop eating out. You will automatically eat less without even noticing.
Then start detoxing your body with tasty, nourishing smoothies that are just as easy on your wallet as they are easy to make.
Because a single day of enjoying Liz’ smoothies demonstrated the radical power of her superfood-packed red smoothies to make me feel incredibly good.
Now prepare yourself for one of the biggest weight loss secrets there is. A secret that, when you use it properly, can transform your body and your health.
You probably know most of us eat too much processed food. What you may not know is that it’s full of toxic chemicals and substandard, dirt-cheap ingredients designed to make you eat more…and force you to gain weight.
Here’s how it works...
“That stuff is just a lot of calories your body can’t use,” Liz told me, “Some are poison. And all these foods are stripped of the anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that help your body detox. The result? Your body expends huge amounts of calories to eliminate some toxins—the rest, it stores in your fat to protect you. This is why most people are hungry all the time. They’re not getting energy they need.”
“So… what’s going on with me? Why am I losing weight but not going hungry?”
Liz paused, then dropped the bombshell.
Your body is designed to burn fat. You just have to let it.
“What? I thought we were designed to store fat?!?” We were Skyping and I was practically shouting. Then I heard Liz say…
What good is a fat reserve if you can’t burn it?
Liz continued: “You’re drinking smoothies packed with phytonutrients, anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatories that pull toxins out of you like a tractor beam. Allowing your body to burn those toxin-filled fat stores… and releasing tremendous amounts of stored energy.”
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Natural Diabetes Treatment Works Better Than Prescription Drugs *PROOF*
By Richard Neal
Tags: HEALING | REMEDIES | PREVENTION
According the latest statistics, diagnosed and undiagnosed diabetes in the United States is reaching epidemic levels:
Total: 29.1 million people or 9.3% of the population have diabetes.
Diagnosed: 21.0 million people.
Undiagnosed: 8.1 million people (27.8% of people with diabetes are undiagnosed).
Source: CDC Website
Drugs Treat Symptoms, Not Disease
Pharmaceutical companies have been trying to shut these doctors down simply for revealing the truth about diabetes.
Scientific studies have proven that type 2 diabetes can be reversed naturally - but this information has been hidden and suppressed for decades.
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Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine are revealing the truth about diabetes in a shocking new online presentation.
In 3 Weeks, 71% Type 2 Diabetics Were Taken off ALL Medication
96% of patients were able to stop all insulin injections and 81% achieved complete relief of painful neuropathy.
Groundbreaking research published by the University of Kentucky, University of California and Newscastle University prove that type 2 diabetes CAN be reversed.
Blood sugar normalizes... neuropathy pain goes away...
Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine have perfected these techniques and helped tens of thousands of their patients end the need for medication and insulin injections 100% naturally.
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Groundbreaking New Research
Doctors at the International Council for Truth in Medicine are revealing the truth about diabetes that has been suppressed for over 21 years.
Last year they helped over 17,542 type 2 diabetics end the need for prescription drugs, insulin injections and blood sugar monitoring.
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In just a few weeks, 96% of their patients are able to stop ALL diabetes medication and insulin injections.
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#1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat
By J. Davis III
Tags: HEALING | PREVENTION
I bet you can’t guess which muscle in your body is the #1 muscle that eliminates joint and back pain, anxiety and looking fat.
This “hidden survival muscle” in your body will boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance when unlocked.
If this “hidden” most powerful primal muscle is healthy, we are healthy.
d) Hip Flexors
Take the quiz above and see if you got the correct answer!
P.S. Make sure you check out the next page to get to know the 10 simple moves that will bring vitality back into your life!
==> Click here to discover which “hidden survival muscle” will help you boost your energy levels, immune system, sexual function, strength and athletic performance permanently!
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