Cartoon Network kicked off their National Recess Week today. National Recess Week is part of Cartoon Network’s “Get Animated” campaign, which encourages kids and parents to “get up and get moving.” Pepperidge Farm’s Goldfish brand, specifically Goldfish 100 calorie packs, is the week long sponsor of National Recess Week. As part of their sponsorship, Goldfish is promoting the Game Maker option at the Goldfish Games link at GoldfishFun.
Here is where I find this situation ironic. Just yesterday, I was at the movie theater and watched a little girl trip while over-eagerly running to the video games (the theater showing the Jonas Brothers 3D movie wasn’t ready for a new batch of viewers yet). The girl’s grandmother told her husband their granddaughter is so wound up, because she don’t get any exercise during the week.
Meanwhile, Cartoon Network initiated an amazing CSR program, Get Animated, to encourage kids to be active. They bring on Pepperidge Farm as the program sponsor, which in and of itself, is fine. Rather than pushing super-sized bags of greasy, fried foods, Pepperidge Farm is advertising 100 calorie Goldfish snacks. Again, Goldfish is also promoting their online website at GoldfishFun.
Goldfish Fun promotes being active in the Goldfish Games section, for example kids can input their own criteria and Goldfish Game Maker will give them a game to play outside or they can take the Game Pledge and print a certificate to show dedication to being active, among other things.
However, out of 7 tabs in the site navigation, 6 have nothing to do with being active. The seventh tab is for Goldfish Games. The site home page even shows a video game console and video games in the background. Though I commend Cartoon Network on the Get Animated campaign, and Goldfish for sponsoring the initiative, I am bothered by the Goldfish website. How can we tell kids to be active on a website that simultaneously encourages them to sit inside and play video games? This just seems like another instance of “adver-tainment” with a tacked on “Get Active” component.