Monday, May 8, 2017

AJ Items w/ Advertisements!?

Hey Jammers! It's late and I have a bit of a headache, but I'm here!!! I actually do have a couple of things to talk about today.

First of all, we have an interesting Rare Item Monday today to start the week off. 

I like these. This pair of feather earrings is not rendered in bright and headache-y colors, as R.I.M.'s tend to be, instead adopting a light sandy palette. And is it just me, or does it look a little less 3D than usual? Just slightly. Overall, I appreciate this item's existence. 

What I really have to talk about might be considered old news, but I'm only just hearing about it now and it sounds pretty fishy. 

Yes, I'm talking about Sweet Magazine. Or you might better understand what I'm getting to by the AJ promo item advertising it.

The above images are credit to Nafaria AJ's blog, The Animal Jam Whip.

When I first learned about this, I was a little taken aback because I don't really see Animal Jam fitting in with all the, err, other stuff on that cover. It's a magazine that seems a lot like a walking advertisement of whatever toys, clothes, and kids movies might be popular at any given moment. To me at least, Animal Jam seems a little more... substantial, you know?

Then I realized that it's part of Animal Jam's new advertising push. Animal Jam is a game that certainly goes a bit deeper than just dressing up and trading, but it's latching onto popular trends to get the attention of kids who might not be immediately enticed by the idea of a game based on friendship, nature, community, creativity, and adventure. 

Basically, AJ's new ad technique is luring in kids who want pink plastic-y toys and tons of items, and the game and its line extensions gives them that, of course, but so much more. That's what separates AJ from the rest of the stuff on the magazine cover: substance built to last.

In the words of Mike Watson, the CEO of DC Thomson (the publishing company of Sweet Magazine), the magazine's primary goal is to "capture everything current and popular." 

Maria Welch, the head of publishing for magazines at DC Thomson, clarifies that statement, specifying that they're looking only for the "hottest licensed brands," presumably to maximize revenue by working with massive toy giants like Barbie, Shopkins, and Sanrio. 

Brands that are "hot" usually don't stay like that for long. So even if a trend fades fast, it doesn't matter because it made money during the time it was popular. That's why the trends keep coming. 

Animal Jam worked with Sweet Magazine, as evident by both their section in the magazine as well as two promotional items from codes in that section: a Sweet Couch and a Sweet Poster.

The Sweet Couch is pretty cute, I'll admit it! It's a nice staple for a dessert-themed den. 

However, I want to talk about the Sweet Poster. Not because it's cute, but because it directly advertises Sweet Magazine when Animal Jam clearly writes in its privacy policy that it is "free from outside advertisement."

Sweet Magazine is a completely separate brand from Animal Jam. If you look at the item image farther up above, you can see that the Sweet Poster contains the literal logo of Sweet Magazine. 

And because Sweet Magazine exists primarily as a collection of advertisements, Animal Jam is technically advertising all of them by advertising Sweet Magazine

It is understandable that AJ is trying to expand its brand by making all kinds of partnerships, but it needs to be careful about what it is endorsing. The materialism expressed in Sweet Magazine puts non-recyclable plastic toys in landfills and in the oceans, suffocating the wildlife that Animal Jam tries to teach kids about protecting. 

Another thing I have a bit of a problem with is Sweet Magazine's claim that it's "girl-powered." It says it is, but provides no information on how. It just repeats that phrase over and over again without reason.

According to Sweet Magazine's website, being "girl-powered" means downloading their desktop backgrounds:

I had thought that clicking the "girl-powered" link would tell me about the importance of women in the workplace, or something to make their magazine more than just a bunch of rich people sitting around in a room figuring out "what the kids are into these days." I guess not.

In a sense, Sweet Magazine kinda hijacks the label of "girl-powered" in an attempt to make themselves relevant. 

I wish that a magazine aimed at young girls would do more than sedate them with toys and clothes.

But that's just my idea.

See you in Jamaa, guys. Remember to be yourselves no matter what is thrown at you.

~ DoomyPanda


  1. Mk, Welp I think thats just crazy to put two things to together that are completely different! And i'm reading this May 11,2017 :P

    1. I agree! It's totally weird. AJ seems so desperate for money, even if they have tons, so they're looking in awkward places to find it! And I'm commenting this May 12, 2017 XD


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