Advertising in Schools
Although this semester our class has discussed the different types of advertising in the marketplace, one technique that was not discussed is that of advertising in schools. This idea is a growing technique that if conducted the right way, could perhaps benefit not only corporate organizations, but also schools and students. However, there are many critics, along with parents that feel advertising in schools is a horrible idea and could only lead to harm.
Many advertisers view children as a profitable three-in-one market. That is, 1) As buyers themselves 2) As influencers of their parents purchases, and 3) As a future adult customer. Every year, children have an estimated $15 billion of their own money, of which they spend $11 billion of it on products such as toys, clothes, candy and snacks. Children also influence at least $160 billion in parental purchases. Generally speaking, today's children have more money to spend than ever before. Companies know this and find that advertising to the 'youth of the nation' can be beneficial and lead to future dedicated customers.
Because of the increase in children's spending power in recent decades, advertisers have closely targeted children as consumers. New advertising strategies aimed at children have been steadily growing and expanding. The toy-related program, or program length commercial (which is just like a infomercial) is developed to sell toys, and stirred public attention and debates. Along with this form of advertising, 900-number telephone services were accused of being aimed at children.
In the 1980's, children got their own TV networks, radio networks, magazines, newspapers, kids' clothing brands, and other high-price items such as video games and other high-tech products. Other new advertising strategies include kids' clubs, store displays directed at children, direct mailing to children, and sponsored school activities.
At first glance, selling corporate sponsorship rights to pay for school activities looks like a win-win situation. Needy schools get resources they need. Companies get new marketing opportunities that can build brand loyalty. After all, advertising in schools is nothing new. Districts have long used ads from local businesses to help pay the costs of school newspapers, yearbooks, and athletic programs. Even here at CBU our athletic department sells ads for 'Sports Media Guides' to local institutions as well as national organizations.
A growing number of companies are offering schools money for a chance to market their products directly to students. As budgets shrink, schools must find ways to get extra funding. Many schools are doing away with fund-raising and have begun to look at corporate dollars to fund just about everything. Signing contracts with these companies seems like an easy way to get the money they need. Schools need funding for in-school activities and equipment, and, in order to reduce the number of children going home to empty houses, they need to fund many after-school activities. Product advertisements can be found almost everywhere in schools. They are most frequently found in stadiums, gymnasiums, school cafeterias, hallways, and on textbook covers. Some schools across the nation are even putting advertisements on school buses.
So what types of advertising are out there in our schools? There are different categories that ads can fall into. The following categories can represent most the advertising techniques used in our schools today and give a description of how they work.
Types of Advertising
1) In-school advertisements
In-school ads are forms of advertising that can be found on billboards, on school buses, on scoreboards, in school hallways, in soft drink machines, or on sports uniforms. This type of advertising is also found in product coupons and in give-aways that are given to students.
2) "Exclusive rights" contracts
A company gives money to schools...
Bibliography: Chaika, Gloria. Education World. 1998 Education World.
Consumers Union Education Services(CUES). 1990. Selling America 's Kids: Commercial Pressures on Kids of the 90 's.
Karpatkin, Rhoda, H. and Anita Holmes. 1995. Making schools ad-free zones. Educational Leadership 53(Sep, 1):72-76.
McNeal, James U. 1990. Kids as customers. New York: Lexington Books.
McNeal, James U. "Planning Priorities for Marketing to Children". The Journal of Business Strategy. 1991.
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