How do online advertising and marketing techniques work

Relevant literature on online advertising and marketing targeting children

  • British Heart Foundation and the Children’s Food Campaign (2011) The 21st century gingerbread house: How companies are marketing junk food to children online.
    • “The internet enables advertisers to capture children’s attention for longer periods of time compared with traditional forms of advertising. By developing integrated marketing strategies across a variety of media, including websites for children that are playful and highly interactive, companies are able to immerse children in their brands. Social media channels enable companies to build relationships on a one-on-one basis by communicating directly with children. Social sites also extend marketing messages into children’s social media feeds when they opt to ‘follow’ or interact with a brand – effectively expanding their reach to the child’s social network.”
  • A.D. Cheyne, L. Dorfman, et al. (2013). “Marketing Sugary Cereals to Children in the Digital Age: A Content Analysis of 17 Child-Targeted Websites.” Journal of Health Communication (1): 20.
    • Compared to traditional marketing, online marketing is perceived to be offering children an ‘immersive environment’  where children are exposed to the advertised brands or products through a variety of multimedia formats, some of which allow the child to interact with the brand. Based on a content analysis of 17 websites targeted at children, researchers argued that there was a positive relationship between immersive environments and popularity and engagement. The researchers found that websites with more content and higher levels of multimedia content, interactivity and personalisation had higher visitor numbers and that children engaged for longer with the content on these websites.
  • V. Rideout, (2014). Advertising to Children and Teens: Current Practices. A Research Brief. San Francisco, Common Sense Media.
    • The interactive nature of the internet is believed to make children’s engagement with marketing material more meaningful, entertaining and personal. Studies with children have found that interactive advertising content can establish positive brand associations.

Relevant literature on habit forming

  • Charles Duhigg (2012) The power of habit 
  • Nir Eyal (2014) Hooked
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