Junk food: 5 marketing strategies used to encourage the purchase of junk food

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Elia Tabuenca García
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Unless they want to close their doors, even the industries that produce the so-called junk food or "junk food" must aim to sell, convincing consumers to buy their products beyond their quality and their effects on health. Not being able to focus on the goodness of what they produce, companies choose other notes to stimulate the purchase, implementing prudent marketing strategies.



Don't store avocado like this: it's dangerous

Unless you want to close their doors, even the industries that produce the so-called junk food o "junk food" must ask themselves theaim to sell, convincing consumers to buy their products beyond their quality and their effects on health. Not being able to focus on the goodness of what they produce, companies choose other notes to stimulate the purchase, implementing prudent strategies of marketing.



Here are the 5 most common:

Index

"Be wherever my target is" strategy

Most brands adopt a tactic of studied visibility to promote their products, placing them right where it is easier to meet the target audience: for example, it is no coincidence that promotional campaigns dedicated to children find space near the places frequented by children, such as kindergartens, elementary schools, gyms, sports facilities, cultural or recreational centers. Similarly, the so-called product placement, with certain items and foods appearing in TV shows o film productions aimed at specific targets, it is never the result of pure and simple coincidences. Finally, they are not moved by chance or, at least in most cases, by disinterested sympathy, sponsorship activities of sporting, cultural, charity or entertainment events.

"A touch of science looks good on everything" strategy

There are situations where skepticism is a must. Take this fact for example: many (too many…) multinationals and food industries boast scientific and statistical studies particularly favorable to their products. Will it be a coincidence? When in doubt, the consumer should be wary of research commissioned and funded by a particular food company and never just listen to a single bell. In the case of this type of study, in fact, there is too often the risk that the results are closer to YouTube's ADS, but click on them, than to scientific objectivity.

Strategies "Ok, the price is right!" and "The more you buy, the more you save"

A rather widespread but always effective marketing choice consists in bet on the price: discounts, special offers, 3 × 2 or similar very often push consumers not to question the quality and nutritional value of the product they put in the shopping cart and to consider their purchase a "bargain" regardless.



Strategy "Convincing children to encourage parents to buy"

The food industry knows that children represent a particularly attractive slice of the market, thanks to them receptivity and theirs ability to guide and influence the consumption choices of families. On the other hand, studies and research show how a significant part of the promotional initiatives and to the commercials to which children are exposed on a daily basis promote products with very low nutritional values, if not none at all.

Regarding the receptivity of the little ones, a study published a few years ago on the "New England Journal of Medicine", Food Marketing and Childhood Obesity- A Matter of Policy di Marion Nestle, showed, starting from the analysis of commercials and promotions aimed at small Americans, that advertising campaigns involving high-calorie foods are crucial in children's food choices. Precisely for this reason, in 2010 the states that adhere to the World Health Organization issued a series of recommendations for reduce children's exposure to marketing messages linked to foods characterized by saturated fats, hydrogenated fats, simple sugars or salt.

The fact is that many companies aim for attract the attention of the little ones with fun, colorful product lines, in different and nice shapes (for example, animal silhouettes), providing them with a packaging originale or by associating them with special gadgets and games (the example of McDonald's Happy Meal is emblematic). Many brands choose to promote their products using the image of characters of cartoons, from the most "classic" ones to the cartoons of the moment, or by relying on a testimonial of sure success, like a sports champion, a singer or a teen star. Still others are betting on Internet and on digital resources, conveying its product through interactive games (so-called advertgames), web applications and mobile e initiatives on social networks.



These more or less subtle persuasion techniques were exposed in a documentary released a few years ago, Consuming Kids: the Commercialization of Childhood (2008), entirely dedicated to the media and advertising bombing that is exercised daily on children to encourage the sale of products dedicated to them.

Strategy "You are a good parent if ..."

Children are undoubtedly conditioned by the use of gadgets, by the funny image of a particularly loved cartoon character, by the dazzling smile of the testimonial of the moment, but they are not the only subjects that can be influenced. Marketing thinks of them too Parents, who have the final say on purchases. Pictures of idyllic and unspoiled places, scenes that involve young, close-knit and joyful families ed emotional headline, who perhaps label the buyer of a certain product as the "best parent", promising well-being, health and happiness for their children, have a great deal of influence on mothers and fathers, orienting their purchases more or less consciously. After all, who wouldn't want to be, at least for once, the perfect parent of commercials?

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