Saturday, August 2, 2008

Food Marketing

(2008-7-30) -- In the wake of the Federal Trade Commission's issuing its Report to Congress on the marketing of foods to children, the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) has called for a moratorium on junk-food advertising to children, saying: "The new FTC study shows that there is a lot of marketing aimed at children, and let’s be perfectly clear it was not spent urging kids to eat fruits, vegetables, and whole grains. The food industry spent a billion and a half dollars urging children to eat fast food, sugary cereals, soft drinks, and other unhealthy foods."

Several wholesome food industry organizations have come out in support of the CSPI's call for responsibility in food marketing by announcing they will employ "junk-food marketing" techniques in the war against juvenile fat.

In particular the Succotash Marketing Board (whose members produce a tasty slurry of corn, lima beans, and tomatoes) said it would launch a $50-million dollar campaign this year "... using the same proven techniques which now persuade parents to buy non-nutritive foods for their kids," according to an SMB spokesman.

The CSPI immediately applauded the SMB effort.

"Parents are at the mercy of Madison Avenue when it comes to feeding their children nutritious foods," the CPSI spokesman said. "And the only reason kids love fatty, salty, sugary stuff is because they're victims of slick marketing. The succotash industry is wise to employ the tactics of the enemy for the benefit of our children."

The SMB's new ad campaign will include TV commercials featuring the pop-funk music of Milli Vanilli and South Park's animated characters as well as plastic toys attached to every can and inside each frozen bag of succotash. The SMB is in "final negotiations" for a co-promotional deal in conjunction with the November 7th release of Dreamworks' Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

"We're still trying to get Steven Spielberg to agree to a scene where Sasha Baron Cohen's King Julien character eats a bowl of succotash or at least expresses his love for it," the unnamed spokesman said. "However, we categorically deny rumors that Gloria the Hippo will give birth to a baby named Succotash."

The industry source acknowledged that succotash faces negative image problems due to its association with another animated character. Said the spokesman: "We're still in focus groups with slogan development, but it's an uphill struggle. Thanks to Warner Brothers 'Sylvester the Cat' most Americans associate succotash with suffering and speech impediments."


Jerry said...

Sufferin' Succotash

I wonder if it is too late to invest in the succotash industry?

Bag Blog said...

Succotash commercials - what a thought! I would never eat mince meat pies because I associated them with mouse meat. It seems that some cartoon cat used to say, "I'm going to make mince meat out of you" when talking to the mouse.

The Flyer said...

What if we teach our kids to think about what they eat instead of what cartoon character endorses something, or what toy they get for purchasing that item? It MIGHT help them in making other kinds of decisions, too! We don't have to resign ourselves to being "at the mercy of Madison Avenue". I realize this is kind of a radical way to think about it though...

Bob said...

I hate to disillusion anyone, but I made up the SMB (Succotash Marketing Board) to parody the pronouncements of the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI). I was shooting for a subtle point: contrary to the CSPI's claim that kids want sugary fatty foods only because of slick advertising, fact is kids like junk food because it tastes good, and it's the job of parents to say ... radical thought here ... no.

Sylvester the Cat's catch phrase was just too easy a target.

Bag Blog said...

I probably should have mentioned that I thought this post very funny.

Bob said...

Bag Blog--
And I should have mentioned that I found your comment both funny and insightful.

I should know better than to explain a joke. If folks get it, then there's no point in explaining it. And if they don't, then there's still no point in explaining it, but they're very likely to be insulted by your condescending calling them them fools.

So for the record: Jerry and Flyer, I have nothing but the highest respect for your wit. There! That ought to patch things up.

The Flyer said...

Clearly the joke was on me! Hats off to you, Bob!

Bob said...

Sometimes even I have problems following the twists in my thinking.

Jerry said...

I guess that my attempt at supporting your parody was just a bit too subtle.

Where is that "smiley face"?