A blog about new media and it’s role in IMC.

Earn your stripes

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We’ve been talking this week in my new media class about marketing to kids online. No sooner had I finished my posts than I stumbled upon a page on ESPN sponsored by the Reduced Sugar version of Kellogg’s Corn Flakes.

So is this site…er….grrrrrreat?

A little about the site, which you can see here. Luke, a 17-year-old “Earn your Stripes” reporter from Chicago, is featured heavily along with Karl Ravech, an ESPN anchor. Articles about sports are written by ESPN kids reporters. There are also games you can play called “Hit the Slopes,” “Skateboard Styler,” and “Playing the Field” as well as downloadable IM icons and desktop wallpapers.

A video currently on the site features Luke and Karl talking about baseball and the meaning of courage. The two also answer a question submitted from the site. It looks like the show is done once a month.

Although the Frosted Flakes Reduced Sugar cereal is promoted prominently, there doesn’t seem to be a link to information about the product. That might be a good or bad thing. Kids might be tempted to research the product since it sponsors this ESPN site. It’s great that at least this cereal is more healthy for kids…it’s still sugary, however. According to the Associated Press, “experts who reviewed the lower-sugar versions of six major brands of sweetened cereals…found they have no significant nutritional advantages over their full-sugar counterparts.”

“You’re supposed to think it’s healthy,” said Marion Nestle, a nutrition professor at New York University and author of a book critical of the food industry’s influence on public health. “This is about marketing. It is about nothing else. It is not about kids’ health.”

So is it a good idea for ESPN to be partnering with Frosted Flakes on a sports site for kids? Probably not from ESPN’s perspective. ESPN wants to empower kids to get interested and involved in sports, and eating sugary cereals is likely to stunt growth and further the obesity epidemic. Shredded wheat or Cheerios would probably be a better brand to partner with. Alas, they aren’t made by Kelloggs.

Written by fsk50a

April 11, 2009 at 11:31 pm

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