Power, Packaging and Preferences: How Children Interpret Marketing on Packaged Food and Its Implications for Communication Scholarship
This thesis explores how children interpret the marketing of child-targeted packaged food and negotiate these interpretations among peers with a specific emphasis on infused character licensing. Infused character licensing food describes instances where the processed food hinges on entertainment content via the use of shape(s). By asking children their opinions on packaged food, this thesis also examines what makes value and meaning for children. Semi-structured focus groups were conducted with 27 participants between 8- to 12-years-old, and focus group data was approached using paratextual theory. Study results indicate that using promotional characters on packaged food, especially through infused character licensing, is a polarizing marketing approach for children because its effectiveness tends to rest on their assigned value of the specific cartoon under discussion. In conclusion, the outcomes of this thesis divulge that child-targeted packaged food promotes food to children through both the text itself and the paratexts that surround it.
Food Packaging, Food Marketing, Children, Licensed Media Character, Brand Equity Character, Generic Character, Power, Exposure, Paratextual Theory, Childhood Obesity
McAlorum, C. A. (2020). Power, Packaging and Preferences: How Children Interpret Marketing on Packaged Food and Its Implications for Communication Scholarship (Master's thesis, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada). Retrieved from https://prism.ucalgary.ca.