Could Frosties' Tony the Tiger influence what adults eat?
Study suggests childhood advertising mascots such as Tony and Ronald McDonald can have influence over the way people consider food as adults
Recognisable childhood figures such as Frosties' mascot Tony the Tiger could continue to influence the food choices people make even as adults, according to the results of a new study.
The research, How Childhood Advertising Exposure Can Create Biased Product Evaluations That Persist into Adulthood suggests the advertising characters children are exposed to, such as Tony, could make them feel more positive about the nutritiousness of the products as adults.
This happens because recognisable characters such as Tony the Tiger and Ronald McDonald lead to an ‘enduring bias’ that favour advertised products.
In the study published in the Journal of Consumer Research, lead author Dr Paul Connell and his team asked 177 adult participants to look at one of two sets of images.
The first were of advertising characters that would have been widely circulated when the participants were young. The second were images of advertising characters that were also widely advertised, but not until after participants had reached adulthood.
Participants were then asked to report their feelings about the characters in the ads, and rate the products featured in the ads on how healthy they were.
People rated pre-sweetened cereals and french fries as healthier when they were exposed to ads for these products as children.
Participants who had been exposed to food-related childhood advertising before the age of 13 were more likely to hold a bias in favour of the products as adults.
The results have led to Dr Connell concluding parents should consider how much advertising their young children are exposed to.
Dr Connell said: “People should check the labels the products they’ve loved since childhood. It’s possible that affectionate feelings for brand characters mean they are overlooking relevant nutritional information.
“At the same time, this research suggests that public health and safety campaigns aimed at children may affect them throughout their lives—but only if children develop positive feelings for the ads.
“We recommend that health-oriented media campaigns targeted at children should aim to relate to children on an emotional level, for example, by emphasizing loveable characters and fun narratives.”
Liam Neeson's Downton dreams
Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage
Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour
Much-loved cartoon character returns - without Sir David Jason
Actress to appear in second series of the hugely popular crime drama
Life & Style blogs
Ebola outbreak: Survivor William Pooley is flown to US to give doctor with virus emergency blood transfusion
Jennifer Lawrence nude pictures leaked: Reddit removes 'The Fappening' board dedicated to sharing naked pictures of celebrities
Tezenis removes 'crime scene' pants from Oxford Street store after backlash over 'rape' connotations
A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
iOS 8: 6 reasons you might want to hold off updating
- 1 Thailand beach murders: Thai PM suggests 'attractive' female tourists cannot expect to be safe wearing bikinis
- 2 Scottish independence: What you shouldn't tweet about if you want to avoid jail today
- 3 Scottish independence: Five reasons Salmond is secretly hoping for a 'No' vote
- 4 Isis plan to 'behead random member of the public' in Sydney thwarted by Australian police
- 5 Scottish independence: Andy Murray backs Yes campaign in eleventh hour decision
Unpaid Voluntary Position : Reach Volunteering: Promising volunteer Trustee op...
£30000 - £35000 Per Annum: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client is curr...
£110 - £130 per hour: Randstad Education Reading: Psychology Teacher needed fo...
£85 - £120 per day: Randstad Education Cheshire: Randstad Education are curren...