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

Posts Tagged ‘ESPN

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

Apple and Video Ads

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This week, video ads were one medium we discussed in IMC 619. But are they effective?

When I’ve had a free second the past few days, I’ve been going to to check my NCAA Division I basketball championship bracket. There’s currently a video ad for the Apple iPhone Touch that forces you to watch the ad before you can click on the handy “My Bracket” link. Of course, I could avoid the ad by directly bookmarking my bracket page, but I’m lazy, much like most of the populance.


The ad’s annoying if you are in a hurry to see your bracket. It also runs slowly if your bandwidth is not up to par.

This isn’t the first time Apple has used video ads. A few months ago, the “PC” and “Mac” guys, aka John Hodgman and Justin Long, were featured in a video ad on the New York Times homepage.


Interestingly, television ads for the iPhone have featured the New York Times homepage as well. Have the two companies struck some sort of agreement?

Maria Russo, writing on the LA Times blog, calls the ad “a continuation of Apple’s history of designing Web ads that are literally out of the box– they don’t stay confined to the traditional online ad “cubes.”

Douglas MacMillan, writing in Business Week says, “Whatever form they take, online video ads are confusing for consumers. Can an ad be skipped, and what happens when you click on a banner or link—those are just some of the questions that leave Internet users scratching their heads.” MacMillan echoes my complaint as well: online viewers are more impatient than TV viewers.

This hasn’t stopped a proliferation in online video ads, however. According to the Wall Street Journal, “research firm eMarketer predicted that online video-ad spending by U.S. advertisers would grow 45% to $850 million in 2009.” There’s also no industry standard yet with regards to online video ads. Should they interfere with the site? Be optional to view? Be 15 or 30 seconds long?

What do you think?

Here’s the full Apple/New York Times video, which ran in September 2008, as well as the current ESPN iPhone ad. Thanks YouTube!

Written by fsk50a

March 21, 2009 at 10:18 pm