Marketing for Children Using Social Interaction Technologies

Marketing for Children Using Social Interaction Technologies

Ruth E. Brown
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-60566-368-5.ch041
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Children are spending more time online and, in most cases, this means they are using social interaction technologies. Beyond the concern for safety, another issue is gathering strength; namely, interactive marketing to children. This chapter looks at the immersive nature of interactive marketing, which can be found in blogs, chat rooms, virtual worlds, advergaming, and other forms of advertainment. The chapter also examines; the ages of targetable audiences (some of whom cannot yet read the “advertisement” label), websites for children that use interactive marketing, where and how ads are displayed, the effects of interactive marketing, the potential for data collection through interactive marketing, the lack of regulation in interactive marketing, and the future trends of interactive marketing to children.
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Interactive Marketing Targets Children

Marketers have already created MySpace profile pages for characters from their advertisements and have invited users to add those characters to their list of friends. On Facebook, marketers have created groups around branded products and are trying to use those groups to increase word-of-mouth advertising about their product. Marketer sites often include video clips and quizzes to increase engagement, as well as free downloadable ring tones and other promotions to increase traffic. Some of these promotions utilize viral marketing, offering incentives for users to send information to friends. Chase financial services had a promotion on Facebook that rewarded site visitors for getting friends to sign up for credit cards (Hansell, 2006). Of course marketers’ social networking sites all have links to their brands’ websites, which have more games and activities for a variety of ages.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Viral Marketing: Self-replicating marketing messages ranging from text to video that are spread by the word of mouth through social networks.

Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA): Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which became effective April 21, 2000. It prohibits websites from collecting personal information from children under the age of thirteen.

Virtual World: Computer-simulated environment in which individuals interact with others through avatars.

Children’s Television Act (CTA): Children’s Television Act of 1990 that limited commercial advertising in children’s TV programming for twelve-year old children and younger to ten and a half minutes an hour on weekends and twelve minutes an hour on weekdays.

Host Selling: Product endorsement by a TV character.

Advertainment: Entertainment that incorporates brand advertising.

ADVERGAMING: Advertising a product through a game. Originally coined in reference to video games, the term is now also used for online games.

Interactive Marketing: Conversation-based form of marketing enhanced by technology.

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