There’s something about children’s cereal commercials that resonates with us. I can still remember most cereal slogans from the cereal ads I saw as a kid: “They’re Gr-r-r-reat”, “Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids”, “Kukoo for Coco Puffs”, “They’re magically delicious”. These are all catchy cereal slogans that I can remember from my childhood. It’s amazing how we can still recall these silly catch phrases yet we can’t remember everyday things, like where we put our car keys. Cereal ads have been around since the early 1920’s and they continue to impact the younger generations in a significant way. The subliminal messaging kids receive through cereal ads is constantly impacting the way they view society norms. Children believe most of what they see and hear on the television, so it’s easy for marketers to manipulate them into thinking certain things. Young children don’t yet have the skills to critically analyze and evaluate commercials. They see healthy kids happily eating a cereal that’s loaded with sugar and assume it’s what every child does in the morning.
Cereal ads often focus on one nutritional benefit and leave out all of the unhealthy ingredients. Commercials like this convince children that the cereal being advertised is good for them, despite its sugary taste. Even if the box claims that their product is whole grain, its probably loaded with sugar and other unhealthy ingredients that weigh out the healthy benefits. Cereal ads often claim that their product is, “part of a good breakfast” at the end of their commercial. However, this statement is only true if the cereal is supplemented with something high in nutritional value. That’s why cereals are often pictured with milk and oranges, marketers do this in order to make their product appear more healthy and nutritious. As if the cereal is equal in nutritional value to the fruit and dairy products its sitting beside.
These General Mills cereal boxes exemplify how deceptive advertising is. The box highlights the fact that the cereal is whole grain but strategically leaves out the unhealthy components. These cereals are high in calories and low in nutritional value. It’s no surprise that child obesity is on the rise in the United States with kids eating cereals like this in the morning. According to the World Health Organization, children should be getting about 25 grams of sugar a day. If a child were to have one serving size of cereal in the morning they would be consuming almost half of their recommended dosage of sugar. This means that for the rest of the day they would have to carefully watch their intake of sugary foods if they want to eat under 25 grams of sugar. Breakfast is the most important meal and kids need to be getting the right nutrients to start their day.
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