How successful is issue-based “product placement” at motivating consumers to think differently about a social issue or inspire change?

In this podcast from a panel at SXSW Interactive's 2013 conference, Vicky Rideout shares her experience working in partnership with Grey’s Anatomy to embed health messages in the popular TV show, and then to evaluate the impact on the audience. Presenters include Anastasia Goodstein, VP of Digital Services at the Ad Council; Lindsay Guetschow, Senior Director of Marketing & Strategic Alliances for Participant Media; Rick Rey, head of Original Programming & Development at Blip Networks; and Vicky Rideout, president of VJR Consulting. Listen to Podcast >

Research Brief:  Children and Advertising
(Winter-Spring, 2014)


Children and Reading: The Latest Research
(Spring-Summer, 2014)

• As of 2013, Vicky Rideout was appointed Editor of Reviews and Commentary for the Journal of Children and Media. Read More >

June 2013:  Presented at Northwestern University’s conference Parenting in the Age of Digital Technology:  How Families Use Media and Technology in their Daily Lives. Read Study > 


March 2013:  Participated in a panel discussion with Participant Media, The Ad Council, and others at SXSW Interactive in Austin. Topic: Content integration for social causes. Listen to Podcast >

July 2012:  Spoke at The Aspen Institute Children’s Forum, on a panel about video games and health. Read More >

May 2012:  Served on The Institute of Medicine’s Committee on Accelerating Progress in Obesity Prevention, in collaboration with HBO’s series The Weight of the NationRead the Committee’s reportwatch the HBO specials, or read the New England Journal of Medicine’s commentary on our Committee’s recommendations.

September, 2012:  Participated in a panel at the Department of Health and Human Services Symposium, Technology and Human Services.

VJR Consulting is an independent consulting firm specializing in research, policy, and strategic communications work for non-profits.  Special areas of focus include social marketing, health communication, and high-quality research on youth and media.  We design and direct public opinion and media research, write reports, develop policy positions, conduct strategic planning, convene high-level events, and plan media campaigns.  We operate at the intersection of issues, research, and communications. Read More >

Learning at Home: Families’ Educational Media Use in America
Since 1999, a series of studies undertaken by academic experts, consumer advocates like Common Sense Media, and philanthropies such as the MacArthur Foundation, Kaiser Family Foundation, and the Pew Charitable Trusts has documented the rise of media consumption by youth. More research, however, should be done on children during the preschool and middle-childhood periods, which scholars in child development, cognitive psychology, and neuroscience have pointed to as critical for all that follows. Surely a real understanding of the new norms of behavior among younger children and their families in what we at the Joan Ganz Cooney Center have termed “the digital Wild West” will help prepare educators, parents, and policymakers... Read More >

Media, Technology, and Reading in Hispanic Families
Center on Media and Human Development at Northwestern University and National Center for Families Learning
We know from previous studies—and from what we see in the world around us every day—that electronic media play a huge role in children’s lives, starting at younger and younger ages. There are marketers and advertisers and all types of large corporations seeking to better understand these trends so they can capitalize on them with the next hot app, merchandisable cartoon character, or thoroughly addictive video game. But understanding these trends is also critical for those who strive to use media to promote children’s well-being and therefore need to understand the relationships between media use and children’s academic achievement, health, and social-emotional development. Read More >

New Milestone Emerges: Baby’s First iPhone App
NY Times, Tamar Lewin, October 27, 2013
As adults turn, increasingly, to mobile devices like tablets, Kindles, and iPhones, their children — even the smallest ones — are doing so as well, according to a new study, “Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America, 2013” by Common Sense Media, a San Francisco-based nonprofit organization that examines children’s use of technology, and rates children’s apps, games and Web sites. Read More >

March 2014 will mark the one-year anniversary of the public launch of the NO MORE project to end domestic violence and sexual assault.  VJR Consulting worked with a coalition of DV/SA organizations to help develop and launch the NO MORE Project. Read Ad Age’s article about the development of the No More project, see Vice President Biden wearing the No More symbol, browse  Tim Gunn's blog about No More, watch the clip from Law & Order: SVU featuring the NO MORE message, or visit the NO MORE website for more information. And check out this incredible story about Christine Mau, brand design director for Kimberly-Clark group (Kleenex, Huggies) and one of Advertising Age’s “Women to Watch,” who was recruited by VJR Consulting to participate in the NO MORE project.

VJR Consulting is now helping to build media partnerships for the initiative (watch out for NO MORE week on USA Network in 2014!), and to place the incredible NO MORE television PSAs created by the Joyful Heart Foundation.  In the last quarter of 2013, we reached more than 40 million viewers.  Read the Huffington Post piece about the launch of the PSA campaign and watch Mariska Hargitay tell Katie Couric about making her directorial debut with this PSA campaign.

Zero to Eight: Children’s Media Use in America for Common Sense Media
October 28, 2013
"Even a casual observer of children and families today knows big changes are afoot when it comes to children and new media technologies. This report, based on the results of a large-scale, nationally representative survey, documents for the first time exactly how big those changes are." Read More >

Survey: For young children, mobile devices now a mainstay
Washington Post, Cecilia Kang, October 27, 2013
The vast majority in the United States are using smartphones and tablets, and for much longer periods of time. Read More >

Toddlers and Tablets: Way of the Future?
June 5, 2013, ABC News Nighline
A survey by Northwestern's School of Communication of 2,300 parents of children aged to 8-years-old found that 37 percent of parents still report they are likely to use their tablet or smartphone to entertain their kids, despite the fact that 54 percent worry their children's use of mobile devices had a negative impact on their physical activity. Read More >

Most Parents Show Little Worry About Media Use, Survey Says
June 4, 2013. New York Times
Do parents worry about the growing amount of time their children spend with media? One new study suggests that most parents are largely unconcerned. And perhaps no wonder: Parents who show little concern about their children’s use of technology themselves spend big chunks of their leisure time with media. The study’s co-author, Vicky Rideout, an independent researcher who over the last decade has done pioneering research into patterns of technology use, said she was surprised to find that 59 percent of the 2,300 parents surveyed were not worried... Read Article > 


Children, Teens and Entertainment Media: The View from the Classroom
October, 2012.  Read the New York Times story on the national survey of teachers we directed for Common Sense Media, about how teachers view the impact of entertainment media on students’ academic skills and social development.   Download the full report or visit Common Sense Media’s research library for more of their work. 
Social Media, Social Life:  How Teens View Their Digital Lives 
June 26, 2012:  Read the new study we directed and wrote for Common Sense Media, about how teens think social media impacts their social and emotional well-being.

Download Report >
Download Infographic > 
Read Washington Post Article >