TORONTO -- To rally support for federal legislation intended to restrict food and beverage marketing to all children in Canada, Heart & Stroke's next step in its fight against marketing to kids uses a new (and entirely fictional) advertising agency called "16 and Under" that exclusively creates ads targeting kids.
Also read, New research reveals unlimited food and beverage ads are negatively affecting Canadian kids.
The campaign launches with a mockumentary that holds up an uncomfortable mirror to the many ways in which advertisers target children with their messaging. The goal is to start a social conversation with parents about the seriousness of marketing food and beverages to kids and the need for restrictions to protect kids and support parents in making healthier choices.
"Our mission is to help kids develop healthy eating and lifestyle habits that will follow them into adulthood," says Yves Savoie, CEO, Heart & Stroke. "But the truth is that advertising to children - especially ads for unhealthy food and beverages - is negatively impacting their health. It's time we followed Quebec's lead and banned this kind of marketing directed to kids in all provinces. It's interesting to note that the child obesity rates in Quebec are considerably lower than anywhere else in Canada."
At "16 and Under", agency employees proudly describe the various tactics they devise to successfully target food and beverage products to children, from bright logo designs to catchy jingles.
"We know kids have a lot of influence when it comes to household food choices, but because they're young, they're impressionable and easily influenced, and we wanted to shine a light on these tactics," says Geoff Craig, Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, Heart & Stroke.
The integrated campaign includes OOH (out of home) digital and social creative, that drive back to Heart & Stroke's landing page 16andunder.ca/16ansetmoins.ca. There, visitors are encouraged to watch and share the digital film, and are provided with alarming statistics on how food and beverage marketing is directly targeting our youth, and how this is affecting their health.
Canadians can also learn more about federal legislation that's currently before Parliament, (and which the campaign supports), calling for a federal restriction on food and beverage marketing to children and youth.
"Childhood obesity rates have tripled in the last 30 years, and advertising has a role in that," adds Craig. "Marketers know that 90 per cent of food and beverage purchases are driven by kids; they rely on 'persuasion power', also known as the 'nag factor' as kids pester their parents for certain products. This campaign is meant to rally support around the issue for the sake of Canada's kids."
SOURCE Heart and Stroke Foundation
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