Interactive Food and Beverage Marketing

Targeting Adolescents in the Digital Age

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation invests in research aimed at halting the rise in childhood obesity. This article describes how food and beverage companies direct digital marketing strategies toward adolescents.

The interactive nature of digital communication and entertainment enables food and beverage companies to market their products in more discreet ways. In light of the childhood obesity epidemic, policy-makers must ensure more responsible marketing practices. There is a lack of research, however, of digital marketing strategies targeted at young people. This article identifies six areas that define how adolescents interact with digital media.

Key Findings:

  • Digital marketers use personal information that adolescents share on social networking sites to develop targeted campaigns.
  • Advertising agencies now use neuroscience to foster brand-related memories among consumers.
  • Digital environments such as video games immerse users in a virtual world that can incorporate product placement and viral marketing.

This article is part of a supplement presenting a series of obesity-related studies. The authors describe the techniques and strategies of interactive marketing campaigns.