The Elaboration Likelihood Model posits that there are two routes to persuasion central (logical) and peripheral (emotional). This study employs the ELM to analyze persuasive appeals in ads viewed by Egyptian children between 7-12 years old. First of all, a survey was conducted to uncover food and beverage ads viewed by children on a spontaneous level followed by aided recall of ads. The survey was administered online to 304 children who filled the survey after their parent’s consent and assistance. After removing repeated ads, a total sample of 100 ads were reported and further analyzed. Findings proposed that peripheral cues are highly employed in both healthy and unhealthy ads. Yet, central cues are skewed towards healthy food and beverage ads which were more grounded in reality rather than fantasy. The number of unhealthy ads outnumbered healthy ads (74% unhealthy versus 26% healthy ad). Unhealthy ads; promoted overeating coupled with sedentary behavior, a lot of screen time over physical activity. Children were exploited into some ‘sexual appeal’ scenes. According to media literacy and marketing professionals in the food and beverage industry in Egypt; global brands have strict guidelines in communicating to children but local brands depend on ‘commonsense or common code of conduct’, possibly a pitfall. Egypt needs regulations to control child advertising content, add taxes on unhealthy food, brands should act more responsibly, advertising during child prime-time should be minimal and monitored, parents and school and TV should enforce advertising literacy to empower our children and counter the effect of unhealthy and manipulative food messages.
Journalism & Mass Communication Department
MA in Journalism & Mass Communication
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(2016).Food & beverages advertising viewed by Egyptian children: A content analysis [Master’s thesis, the American University in Cairo]. AUC Knowledge Fountain.
Rady, Mona. Food & beverages advertising viewed by Egyptian children: A content analysis. 2016. American University in Cairo, Master's thesis. AUC Knowledge Fountain.