Fast Food Advertising Essay Outline

Fast-Food Advertising Causes Obesity Essay

1395 Words6 Pages

There has been a long term concern that youth or children who eat from fast food restaurants have a big risk for becoming overweight. Some research shows that "greater familiarity with fast food advertising on television is associated with obesity in young people" (Pediatric Academic Societies parag.1). It is known that these children and adolescents are being extremely exposed to fast food advertising including the internet, social media, and particularly on television. The marketer and owners of these fast food restaurants use many techniques to attract children and help cause childhood obesity. Not only are they mainly targeting children but also they target low income families and helping cause obesity in their income groups, with…show more content…

3). This shows how badly children are actually exposed to these advertisements everyday on the television constantly being persuaded into having their parents buy them the unhealthy food. Harper Collins argues that " the problem of childhood obesity has grown dramatically in recent years, with between 16% and 33% of children and adolescents being obese or overweight due to unhealthy weight gain due to poor diets and lack of exercise" (parag. 1). These percentages aren't very good when every day almost ⅓ of U.S. children from the eat fast food, which most likely helps them gain extra pounds per child or adolescent per year and heightens the risk of obesity . These numbers may be startling but they are not surprising, since billions of dollars are spent every year on advertising that is targeted specifically to children this is how big the numbers should be. Some studies have shown that fast food contributes to increased calorie intake and obesity risk in children meaning that all those healthy food these fast food restaurants have been advertising have been falsely advertised may be thats why fast food advertising is causing childhood obesity. Fast food advertising has been a big contributor in causing obesity in the U.S by targeting children.
Fast food advertising has caused obesity by targeting low income families. Authors Shiriki Kumanyika and Sonya Grier emphasize that " low-income youths are exposed to a great

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Advertising, Food and Children

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 Advertising, Food and Children

 

"Peanut, peanut butter and jelly." Advertising has an impact on its audience. From songs to logos to characters, food product advertisers must keep in mind their audiences. Competition is the force which causes advertisers to target children. Children are targeted through the use of cute phrases, animated characters, and toys in these competitive advertisements.

 

Many types of food have a phrase associated with them. Commercials use these phrases to implant their product into the audiences memory. Goldfish crackers are an example of one these products. "I love the fishes `cause their so delicious..." This is the theme to a well known commercial which advertises Pepperigde Farm goldfish crackers. Children sing the phrase over and over throughout the entirety of the commercial. By the time the commercial ends the line and product are inevitably stuck in a persons mind. The commercial says "... and my mom says that's okay", which implies to children that their parents will allow them to eat this snack. Another example of a product with an addicting phrase is Oscar Meyer bologna. "My bologna has a first name its O-S-C-A-R..." Instead of this song selling the product itself, its aim is to sell the brand. The Oscar Meyer company has had auditions for the next Oscar Meyer child. Again, their goal is to sell their brand. The company also has another product with a catchy song, Oscar Meyer hot dogs. "I wish I were an Oscar Meyer wiener..." The stress of this phrase is also the brand. Oscar Meyer commercials use children to sing these songs and like the goldfish commercial, the song has been imprinted into a persons memory be the end of the commercial. Both companies goal is to sell their product. By targeting children, whole families are then targeted. Competition between companies with similar products, is the reason phrases are used. If one company can create a phrase that everyone will know and remember, they are one step closer to winning the race.

 

Animated characters are also a medium used to target children. Animation has been the way which companies from Disney to Cartoon Network, capture the attention of children everywhere. Tony the Tiger is the spokesperson for Kellogg's frosted flakes.

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The image of this tiger appears in all the commercials and on the boxes of cereal. "Their grrrrreat," is a phrase used along with the animated character. Together these mediums imprint themselves into a persons memory. When a child sees these commercials on television, they get placed into their memory bank. When the child goes shopping with its parents and sees the product on the shelf, the memory resurfaces and the child asks for the product. Other animated characters associated with food products, are the Trix rabbit, the Flintstones, the leprechaun for Lucky charms, and the Quick rabbit. The Flintstones is a well known cartoon. Using these characters to advertise a product takes something that children already love and gives it more meaning. Again, these commercials get put into a child's memory bank, and the companies hope is that the child will one day ask for the product.

 

Toys are another way in which children are targeted. What kind of child doesn't like toys? None. This is the answer that some companies keep in mind when advertising their product. Cracker jacks is just average caramel popcorn until a toy is put in the box and advertised. The hope here is that the child will remember that a particular brand has a toy in it and will therefore ask for that particular product. Cereal companies are also famous for this type of advertisement. The huge competition between the companies has caused a need for them to somehow sell their products better. If they put toys in the boxes of cereal, children are more likely to want the box with a toy in it. Fast food restaurants also advertise to children. Competition is the driving force for these advertisements. For example, McDonald's has the Happy Meal, Burger King has the Kid's Club and Wendy's has the Kids Meal. The only difference between these, is the toy which accompanies each meal. These companies hope that when a child is asked where they want to eat, the child will answer their restaurant. This will increase their business. Competition is the basic driving force for why companies have added toys to their products.

 

Children, by nature, are very competitive. They strive to get something that no one else has. A child loves to be the first one on their block to have the new toy, to try the new cereal, or to own the new outfit. Advertisers know this and try to use it to their advantage. With all the similar food in the world, there is competition to sell a certain brand. If an advertiser can suggest to children that their product is better and more popular, then by their competitive nature the child will have a need to have the product. This need comes from the fact that a child loves to be the first to have something. If a cereal company uses the hottest cartoon character as their spokesperson a child will want the product because it is cool and they will want to be the first person to have it. If a child owns this product, in their mind, they too will be cool. There is also competition to sell name brands over generic brands. While generic brands are cheaper, they do not appeal to children as much. Usually, these products are not accompanied by phrases, cartoon characters, or toys. This takes all the fun out of a product; making the product less popular. A decrease in popularity will cause less competition between children and therefore the product will not sell as well. Children want to be popular; to be popular, children want to have the best of everything.

 

Advertising is using the power of suggestion to sell a product. In the case of children, a company's advertisement hopes to suggest that their product is the best. Many food companies target children with the hopes that they will influence their parents choices when it comes to buying a product. Animated characters, phrases, and toys are used to lure a child to the product. Sometimes these mediums are used together to produce a stronger statement about the product.



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