“Sweets that’re actually good… Supplements so yummy that you’ll have to fight to keep your kids off these.”
As a member of General Nutrition Corporation (GNC) member, I will usually receive their promotion flyers of their products. Most of the time, I would pay attention to the products that I consumed. If these products were not on promotion, I will just throw the flyer away. However, one bright yellow page caught me this time, they were selling “healthy sweets” for kids. In this flyer stands a girl beside the stack of books, posing for the camera, looking smart. This reminds me of the what I had learnt in one of the Science Communication Modules -Science in Public Eyes (Advertising ).
A short description of all products was given to inform the buyer about the goodness of the “sweets”. Words used were mostly easy to understand and common terms such as “vitamins”, “calcium” were used too. However, this sentence “pack fibre and antioxidants typically present in 2 servings of fruits and vegetables” has uncertainty. How much is 2 serving of fruits and vegetables? 1 serving of fruit could be one banana or one kiwi fruit? Is 2 serving of fruits and vegetables for children the same for adult? Also, scientific terms like “prebiotics F.O.S to promote growth …” is written on it. What is F.O.S? It is important that such terms should be explained to allow buyers understand more about the products. On another product, “taking high amount of DHA improves learning abilities …” I am not sure if it is scientifically proven for this point. It made me wonder if scientific journal paper has proven that certain chemicals have certain good effects on the body, will the companies take the opportunity to market these good effects as these chemicals are present in their products?
However…. sweets are sweet because they have sugars… so is the sugar content in these products in the healthy range? Are they suitable for children? Why is this point not mentioned? Erm….
On the other hand, the pictures and product names were rather catchy and child friendly. “Beary good, green monsters, smart moves” are some of the products’ name. The pictures consist of cute cartoon characters to attract the children. I think this is one way to make the potential buyers (likely to be parents) have easier time to attract their children to eat these sweets. Clearly, the company know their target audience (Parents and children) and trying to communicate their idea by portraying that their products will make kids smart (girl posing looks smart). Instead of using lots of scientific claims, they keep their message simple and attractive. This gave me ideas that if my audience is children in future, I may want to give attractive images and keeping the message simple and easy to understand.
Reflecting upon this advertisement, I was recalling why I became a member of this company. French bark pine !The first product that I bought from them was French bark pine pills. I remembered I did a google check on this product and read about before I purchased. The product contained high level of anti-oxidants, higher than fruits as stated in the information booklet that comes with the products. However, as I have consumed it over the years, I am wondering if it has any effect on my body? Erm…..