Article

Use a Rabbit or a Rhino to Sell a Carrot? The Effect of Character-Product Congruence on Children's Liking of Healthy Foods

a Amsterdam School of Communication Research, University of Amsterdam , Amsterdam , The Netherlands.
Journal of Health Communication (Impact Factor: 1.61). 05/2012; 17(9):1068-80. DOI: 10.1080/10810730.2011.650833
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT This study investigated whether unfamiliar characters are as effective as familiar characters in stimulating children's affective responses toward healthy foods. In particular, the authors investigated whether an unfamiliar character which is congruent with a product can be as effective as a familiar character. The authors tested 2 types of character-product congruence: conceptual congruence (on the basis of a familiar link), and perceptual congruence (on the basis of color similarity). In a repeated measures design, 166 children (4-6 years old) were exposed to a picture of a carrot combined randomly with 5 different types of character: an (incongruent) familiar character and four unfamiliar characters varying in character-product congruence (i.e., both conceptually and perceptually congruent, conceptual only, perceptual only, and incongruent). The authors measured children's automatic affective responses toward these character-product combinations using a time-constrained task, and elaborate affective responses using a nonconstrained task. Results revealed that the conceptually congruent unfamiliar characters were just as effective as the familiar character in increasing children's automatic affective responses. However, the familiar character triggered the most positive elaborate affective responses. Results are explained in light of processing fluency and parasocial relationship theories.

Download full-text

Full-text

Available from: Moniek Buijzen, Aug 21, 2014
2 Followers
 · 
115 Views
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The present study investigated whether and how a picture book promoting carrots can increase young children's carrot consumption. One hundred and four children (aged 4-6 years) participated in shared reading sessions using the book on five consecutive days in school. These children were assigned randomly to one of four experimental conditions. In a 2 x 2 between-subjects design, the reading style and character in the book were manipulated. The reading style was either passive (listening to the story) or interactive (also answering questions about the story). The character in the book fitted either conceptually well with carrots (a rabbit) or not (a turtle). Compared to a baseline group of 56 children who were not exposed to the book, the children in the experimental groups consumed almost twice as much carrots (in proportion to other foods consumed), F(1,159) = 7.08, p < .01. Results suggest that picture books are particularly effective when children are actively involved, answering questions about the story. Young children seem to enjoy this interactive shared reading style, triggering positive feelings that increase children's liking and consumption of the healthy food promoted in the book.
    Appetite 11/2013; 73. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2013.10.018 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study was to quantify the nature and extent of use of persuasive marketing techniques in television advertisements (adverts) to promote foods to children. Popular UK commercial television channels broadcasting children's/family viewing were recorded for 2 days (6 am-10 pm) every month in 2008 and recordings were screened for adverts. Eighteen thousand eight hundred and eighty eight adverts were for food and these were coded for peak/non-peak children's viewing time and representation of core (healthy)/non-core (unhealthy)/miscellaneous foods. The analysis assessed use of persuasive appeals, premium offers, promotional characters (brand equity and licensed characters), celebrity endorsers and website promotion in food adverts. Promotional characters, celebrity endorsers and premium offers were used more frequently to promote non-core than core foods, even on dedicated children's channels. Brand equity characters featured on a greater proportion of food adverts than licensed characters. A food brand website was promoted in a third of food adverts (websites are not covered by the statutory regulation on food advertising). This extensive analysis of television adverts demonstrated that the use of persuasive marketing techniques to promote unhealthy foods was extensive in broadcasting popular with children despite regulations. Further studies should incorporate an analysis of the content of websites promoted during food adverts.
    Appetite 11/2011; 58(2):658-64. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2011.11.017 · 2.69 Impact Factor
  • Source
    Appetite 06/2012; 58(3):1170. DOI:10.1016/j.appet.2012.02.022 · 2.69 Impact Factor