Authorship:Alexandra Dominique Danielle Theben
Programme: Information and Knowledge Society
Supervisor: Dr. Joan Torrent-Sellens, Dr. Dominik Batorski
Departament / Institut: Information and Knowledge Society
Subjects: Ciencias sociales
Key words: education, innovation, creativity, design
Area of knowledge: Information and Knowledge Society
Marketing in online games and advergames has been subject to criticism and concerns. The objectives of this doctoral thesis were threefold: (1) to analyse what is the current state of knowledge about the impacts of online food marketing to children; (2) to analyse the characteristics of online marketing techniques directed at children in most popular online games and advergames; and (3) to test the effect of an advergame that promotes fruit on children’s subsequent fruit consumption. With these objectives, the study also aimed to fill current research gaps related to the marketing of healthy food products using currently deployed online marketing techniques. The results gave no evidence that children who played an advergame promoting fruit consumed more fruit compared to those children who played an advergame with non-food items or were in the control condition. Despite the fact that previous studies have shown that advergames promoting food products increased the intake of the (oftentimes unhealthy) food products advertised, the same effect could not be found for advergames promoting fruit. Implications on online marketing of healthy food products are discussed and recommendations for future research outlined.