Friday, August 13, 2010

Commercialism Corner

Commercialism Corner: Your one-stop shop for quick summaries and links to all the latest news about the commercialization of childhood.

S.F. Proposal: Healthier Kids Meals or No Toys – San Francisco follows Santa Clara County and proposes ban on junk food toys.

Girls at Comic-Con Find Marketers Ready for Them – Toy makers used this year’s Comic-Con to show off their new brands targeted at girls, including Hasbro’s Strawberry Shortcake (who will have a show on Hasbro’s new children’s TV network, the HUB, launching this fall) and Mattel’s Monster High, a brand based on sexualized characters around which the company is planning an “entertainment juggernaut.”  Mattel’s Monster High dolls, clothing line, and electronics are already available, webisodes are online, a book series is publishing September 1, and a movie musical is being developed by Universal.  This Friday (the 13th) Mattel will launch a Monster High music video on YouTube to promote the brand.

Traditional Outdoor Games are Forgotten by Kids – Study shows that traditional outdoor kids’ games are unknown to many children; 75% of children 4-11 reported never playing hopscotch or tag.  Nintendo video games have replaced these games, according to the study, signaling that “high-tech gadgets are over-taking more traditional children's pastimes.”

In the Driver's Seat of 'Cars' Online Community – Disney unveils its latest online community, based on Cars in an advanced massive marketing effort for the 2011 release of Cars 2.,0,4740314.story

National Geographic Kids Launches Animal Jam Virtual World
– Kids playing in this “ad-free” virtual world,, will earn “bonus Gems and premiums from National Geographic Publishing and discounts on National Geographic’s acclaimed books and magazines.”

Nickelodeon Launches Dora The Explorer's Landmark Tenth Anniversary With 'Beyond the Backpack' Pro-social Campaign to Champion School Readiness – Dora turns 10; Nickelodeon launches a “pro-social” campaign--including the auctioning of limited-edition Dora backpacks and offering Nick-sponsored educational materials--in partnership with The Children's Defense Fund and National Parents Teachers Association (PTA).

Youth Exposure To Alcohol Ads Declines – Self-regulation by the alcohol industry has resulted in 62% decline in children’s exposure to liquor ads in magazines, but a 57% increase in exposure to beer ads.  The study shows that 16 brands, including Patron Silver Tequila, Absolut Vodka, Kahlua Liqueur, have higher visibility among child audiences than others.  The article concludes that this finding suggests “ad placements are part of a deliberate strategy” to market alcohol to those under 21.

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