During the months of confinement, internet advertising grew, as well as e-commerce and despite the resistance, Mexicans lost their fear of electronic transactions, since according to the Mexican Association of Online Sales, 56 percent of the population bought some product through digital means and more than 80 percent did it via mobile, said the director of the Faculty of Political and Social Sciences (FCPyS), Carola García Calderón.
Meanwhile, FCPyS professor Miguel Rivera Herrera said that according to data from the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF), in Mexico 50 percent of children between six and 11 years of age are Internet or computer users; in the case of adolescents between 12 and 17 years of age, the percentage is 80 to 94.
During the colloquium "The new normality, the new advertising", organized by the academic entity he directs, García Calderón said that advertising had to adapt to the new reality that forced people to stay at home and move their work, educational and social life to the Internet; entertainment moved to stream, product acquisition took place through online sales and communication was possible through different platforms.
The workspace was confused with the entertainment space, as people spend practically nine hours connected to the Internet, and the use of pay-TV increased 22 percent, he said. The government even created a campaign by the Ministry of Health with the character "Susana Distancia" (a 'safe distance' campaign character) and there was content that recognized the work of medical personnel. However, advertising once again emphasized the sale of products.
For the teacher and moderator of the meeting, Silvia Josefina González Martínez, advertising is still in a trance: "we see it when we go out on the street and billboards are still available for rent, when we go to shopping malls and there are many empty stores", undeniably during this time "e-commerce increased and informal businesses moved to platforms such as WhatsApp and Instagram".
Consumption habits have changed and it was found that now children, adolescents, and even adults spend more time on digital applications, to which advertising is transferred. The event also addressed the topic of food labeling that came into force in August 2020 and began to circulate during the confinement. In this regard, García Calderón added that as of 2014, new ways were sought to avoid advertising junk food in children's time slots, both on radio and television; however, he considered that the investment in media promotion did not decrease, but simply changed the way they were presented.
Yessica Paulina Cano Santander, from the FCPyS, emphasized the importance of sensitivity in public policies; that is, in the "set of actions that the government must undertake to solve the needs of the population, seen from a multifactorial perspective". The new labeling law had an impact on public opinion, in terms of legislating in favor of promoting healthy eating habits for children and young people. Andrea Sanchez Islas, professor of Communication Sciences of the same Faculty, said: "the objective of the new labeling is to provide clear and effective information so that the consumer can know the nutrient content of the products" because Mexico occupies the first places in obesity in adults and children.
Professor Eder Antonio Salamanca Fuentes, also an academic of this university entity, considered that being in confinement, people shared their feelings towards this provision through social networks, specifically with memes. Beyond jokes or funny images, it showed the perception and attitude towards something. Its use implies a technique used in counter-advertising or anti-advertising, called subversion-alteration of the message, in the form of parody or criticism by using original elements of brands, but distorting the context to invert the meanings.
Continuing his presentation, Rivera Herrera estimated: "it is necessary to have a comprehensive vision in which digital media are regulated, places where children have greater autonomy". The specialist referred to the YouTube Kids platform, an exclusive application for minors to search for channels and playlists in four categories: programs, music, learning, and exploration. The important thing, he clarified, is that it has parental control that makes it possible to monitor the type of content.
This social network is working on a "supervised experience" for tweens who are looking for new, non-children content that can be monitored. Specifically, the so-called Generation Z are migrating from television to use digital platforms for information or entertainment and that is where companies take advantage of product advertising since on the Internet not everything is regulated, he commented.