Fast Food Advertisements Essay

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An investigation on the impact of fast food advertising on the fast food consumption of children in UK: a case study of McDonald’s, UK

Chapter 1: Introduction

1.1: Introduction:

Here in this section the main of researcher is to focus upon providing the overview about the topic and subject matter so that the interest of people could be created. It includes the construction of aims and objectives along with the explanation of rationale and potential significance of the study. Further the structure of dissertation is also another factor that has gained huge priority into the subject matter.

1.2: Background of the research:

Information dissemination (about the features of product and its details) is one of the major factors that have gained huge consideration by the fast food companies and they have focused hugely on informing the people towards the availability of their product. For the same purpose the ad campaigns are the most appropriate tools for the fast food retailers and it become easier for them to focus on increasing their sales ratio. It is to acknowledge that the different age group took the advertisements differently. In case of fast food the children show their huge level of interest within the products and most importantly their consumption ratio also increases at very large scale (D'Esopo and Almquist, 2007). The psychological impact of ad campaigns on the mindset of UK children huge and it just changes the life style and eating habits of young age people. According to Smith (2011), fast food advertising has gained much consideration in the current world’s food culture and in UK, companies like McDonald’s, KFC, Burger King etc target mainly children through fast food advertising by television commercials, event sponsorship, bill boards etc (Smith, 2011). Thus it is essential to understand that how advertisement affects the children of UK towards the fast food and its consumption ratio. It can provide intellect about various variables (fast food market, popularity among children, role of advertising in increasing the popularity among children etc.) into the study.

1.3: Organizational background:

McDonald starts its business in USA but due to international expansion opportunities and high level of uniqueness within their business they got the opportunity to commence their operations outside the USA and established their stores at UK as well. The company was started by Ray Kroc in the year, once he identified the high level of opportunities into this business and since its inception innovation and uniqueness has become the identity for the company. Currently McDonald has its outlets all across the globe (35000 outlets) and most importantly the 44,000 thousand employees are serving the 68 million customers on the daily basis. The product range is highly diversified for the company and changes could be seen as per the cultural diversity or local ingredients of local country (McDonald’s, 2013).

1.4: Rationale of the study

The main reasons behind the study are to assess the impact of advertisement at the mindset of small children and their buying behavior towards the fast food. It is definitely clear that this study can help in measuring the effectiveness of advertisement as promotional campaigns within the fast food retailers. Further it could also identify that actually which segment has been targeted by McDonald over the years.

1.5: Research aims and objectives:

Aim: The main of this study is to assess the impact of fast food advertising on the fast food consumption of children in UK. For the sale purpose the case study of McDonald UK has been taken into special consideration.

Objectives:

  • To understand the impact of advertising on the consumption ratio of fast food
  • To identify the reasons that stimulates children to buy fast food
  • To understand the health as well as social implications of fast food consumption

Research questions:

  • What are the impacts of advertising on the consumption ratio of fast food?
  • What are the main attractive strategies adopted by McDonald in their advertisements that stimulates children to buy fast food?
  • What are the health and social implications with respect to consuming excessive fast food?

1.6: Purpose of the study:

The major purpose of the study is to analyze the impact of advertising on the particular section of the society with respect to particular category of food. Further the purpose of this study is to analyzing upon one of the leading fast food retailers and the market share that they have captured with the help of advertising campaigns. Ahead this study can definitely help in serving the purpose of assessing the health issues for children and its long term impact at their health and life style.

1.7: Structure of the study:

Conclusion:

Therefore above section has contained all the elements which are essential to create interest within the project and providing the strong base to the study. It is to acknowledge that purpose, rationale and aims and objectives of the study have explained in brief yet in articulated manner. At last the description of structure of the report has also taken into special consideration into introductory section.

Chapter 2: Literature Review

2.1: Introduction

This chapter has covered the detailed explanation about the content related to the fast food advertising over the fast food consumption. Here in this section first of all the description of fast food industry has been given along with various advertisement strategies that could be used by the industry or fast food retailers. Ahead the impact of advertisement on buying decision or curiosity of children has been depicted in proper way. The implications has also portrayed with a view of understanding the impact of fast food on children’s health status. At last the case study of McDonald has been shown in the literature review.

2.2: Fast food industry

This fast food industry is growing very rapidly and they have captured huge market in entire UK. In recent past there are so many fast food retailers who have expanded their business within the international market and have ensured their growth within the UK market. The fast food industry has got various opportunities to increase their business. The change in lifestyle of people, launching various advertisement campaigns as well as the taste and use of ingredients are certain things which brings more number of people towards the outlets. The intense competition has become major characteristics of fast food industry in UK. KFC, Burger King, and McDonald etc. these are certain giant fast food retailers who have captured the huge market share (Drury, 2008). According to Mcleod, (2007) the market segment for fast food industry is not restricted. They attract people from all the segments but still the small children or young teenagers are main targeted market for the fast food industry. This kind of segmentation helps on the ground of launching the specific advertisement campaigns and most importantly the target market could be allure in proper way. It’s a fact that fast food industry has more consumption ratio of children so young generation is the major potential market for fast food industry (Mcleod, 2007).

2.3: Advertisement strategies

Now days the advertisement has become essential element for the companies that allow them to generate their brand awareness and the revenue generation capacity could also increased. The advertisement is one of the most effective promotional tools that could be used by fast food industry. Mainly the advertisements strategies have been categorized in two ways first are traditional advertisement campaigns and other by using revolutionary source of media and communication to establish connections with customers. The traditional source of advertisement are hoardings, newspaper publishing, television, radio etc. and new kind of advertisement platforms are social media, website, online platform, arranging the events and sponsorships etc. These advertisement campaigns could be designed in various ways or any kind of source of communication could be used but the basics always remain same. The success of advertisement campaigns is completely dependent upon innovation and its informative kind of nature (Goessl, 2010). The advertisement should be informative as well innovative so that the customers could be attracted easily as mentioned by Goessl, (2010). In case of children the company selects the advertisement and source of communication very painstakingly. Their capturing power couldn’t be very much effective as compare to middle age group or adults. They need the ad campaigns which are simple yet innovative and informative. Using such features that put psychological positive impact at their mindset is mostly adopted strategy by fast food industry (Goessl, 2010).

With the perspective of children two things gains huge consideration so that the positive results could be experienced. First is that fast food industry focused upon such source of communication which is highly expressive and easily available to the children. Second factor is that developing the connectivity or building the relationship with small age group customers. Adding such factors is essential which must be sufficient enough to influence children. It is clear that the companies should make use of both traditional and new channels of communication to disseminate the information about their product. The use of television could be highly result oriented as it become easier to attract children (Miremadi and Kazemzadeh, 2013). Ahead YouTube is another very significant source of putting the impact at the small age group customers. Both these features have one thing in common that the video presentation of the product could definitely create the interest among children.

Ahead it is to acknowledge that the advertisement strategies could be diverse and must be applied in an appropriate manner. The companies use various tactics in advertisement strategies which convince people to consume the products or fast food. Mainly the fast food companies have developed the tendency that having fast food is a lifestyle and if young age people will consume more fast food products then they could become cool (Miremadi and Kazemzadeh, 2013). Second factor is that the fast food stores or outlets depict their picture as cool hangout place with friends or family so young age people are highly influenced towards these aspects. It definitely helps on the ground of putting the positive impact. Another advertisement strategy is that the companies put small children as a model into the ad which is most influencing element with the perspective of attracting the children. Using the toys or other useful stuff could also be result oriented. The advertisements strategies have become highly innovative and beneficial. The changes have been noticed at very large scale. The ad which are specifically targeting upon children never focus upon the pricing strategy as they need not to worry for the price. They just spread the ingredients and all the materials used within the product so that the children could find it yummy and reached at outlets to consume the product (Miller, 2012).  But above all using the advertising strategy related to status symbol and lifestyle is something that has huge impact at the mindset of children.

Other than these expressive sources of communication and effective psychological strategies some companies may use blogs and personal mailing as well so that young teenagers could change their eating habits. The role of social media is also immense in improving the advertisement strategies. Thus these are most common advertisement strategies specific for children.

2.4: Advertisement and its impact on children’s consumption ratio

The advertisement sources are easily available to children. They can track the YouTube videos or can check the food advertisements over the internet or through television as well. It has been found that children are usually highly inclined towards the fast food due to two major factors. One is that they get bored of their routine home food and it just influences them to get something tasty which can fulfill their appetite as well as provide them chance to get something tasty and interesting (Libal, 2014). Second factor is that the social lifestyles of parents have been changed in such a way that they promote their children to get fast food and remove their hunger. Their busy schedule creates obstacles in putting more concentration on proper cooking or preparation of food. So fast food is better option to deal with busy schedule. Later on it become habit and consumption ratio reached at its peak due to easy availability of fast food. It is very common household scenario within UK. But these are social issues which allow children to get more inclined towards the fast food.

Other than social aspects the environment has been created by the fast food companies which definitely focus on high level of favorable business environment for their products. The positive environment has been created with the help of advertisements (Abideen, 2011). The advertisements have positive impact at buying behavior of children and in result it leads towards high consumption. The buying behavior process of children could never be sale as compare to adults. They behave in different manner and their thinking process is also completely different as mentioned by Vieceli And Valos, (2000). In case of fast food the children just show their excitement towards the product and advertisement work as catalyst to that excitement. It is to acknowledge that fast food industry have used various advertisement campaigns which allures the small children to get inclined towards the product of fast food retailers (Vieceli And Valos, 2000).

The very early stage of buying behavior of children starts from their parents (as mentioned above) and later advertisements continue to hit the mind of customers towards that product. Children found it appealing and they started to visit the store with their friends as well. Actually the cult buying theory couldn’t be applied on behavior of children (Donnelly and   Harrison, 2009). There are certain factors which work in favor of companies by launching the advertisements. The element of ad campaigns could be changed on the regular basis so that the children could be influenced positively. Above strategies have been mentioned in proper way. There is positive impact of those strategies on consumption of children. Sometime the companies make use of any famous celebrity or face within their ad that encourages the usage of fast food and it just influence the buying behavior.

Ahead it is also clearly mentioned that companies position their product as favorable to lifestyle and it add some sort of fun to the lifestyle of children. Small age customers started to hang out with their friends and it just molds their eating habits and inclination towards the fast food could be experienced. Sometime some ad campaigns include feel good factor within their ads and it just put emotional impacts at the mindset of customers (Schaefer, 2011). Thus advertisements have positive impact at the consumption decision of children related to the fast food products. It also becomes clear that in current scenario (in case of children) the stages of buying behavior couldn’t be applied appropriately. Psychologically and emotionally both aspects are available in the ad campaigns and it affects the fast food consumption of children.

2.5: Implication of fast food on health status

The major arguable discussion is not the increment in sales ratio or about the consumption of fast food. The major prioritized element is related to the implications of fast food on the health related aspects. The health status of children has been affected adversely. The advertisement campaigns are successful in attracting the children but it’s creating negative impact at their physical as well as mental health (Sharp, 1991). The very common disease is the obesity. It couldn’t be neglected that the level of calories within the fast food is very high and it just affect the growth of body. In result the obesity is the most common disease that could be noticed in those children who consumes the fast food excessively. It is clear that obesity is very serious disease as it can cause various other diseases. In very small age when children started to consume fast food then the low immune system have also experienced by medical practitioners. According to health association the fast food breaks down the immune system and capacity to fight with diseases and bacteria’s could also slow down. The major reason behind this element is that the fast food doesn’t contain the nutritional values which are required for growing children. They consume food which is not fresh and contains variety of chemicals. The proper nutrition food is basic requirement for healthy body but fast food lacks the nutrition and it just provides harm to immune system (Schlosser, 2012).

The fast food contains very heavy ingredients like cheese and it is also very much spicy which is not good for proper digestive system. The digestion capacity of small children is not so effective so they need to consume light food and have to focus on proper diet. But the casual eating habits destroy the digestive system and it also creates health issues. In addition to these diseases the worst is related to cavity and mouth diseases. The germs increasing capacity in fast food is very high, consuming the coke or other beverages could be harmful for tooth and various mouth related diseases could attack on children. The level of proteins, calcium remains very low and the carbohydrates are very high in fast food that could cause rise in cholesterol levels. It is very serious disease for children at very crucial stage of life. The heart disease could be increased and it just results in diabetes as well. The less value of calcium causes the disease related to bones and skin (Schultz, Tannenbaum and Allison, 1996). The bones could become fragile and it just affects the physical strength of children

Obesity can lead towards the breathing problem and stamina of children could be affected adversely. The hygiene and cleanliness is also unavailable in the fast food which cause stomach related diseases. Cancer is another very serious disease which could be treated as worst result of fast food. These diseases never show their impact in just a day or two but harm the body very slowly. Adding the proper nutrition is required as it minimizes the stress level as well. It has been found that people who consume excessive fast food they remain stressed and irritated and in children the problem is more worst as it affect their mental growth as well. Situation of hypertension is also causes due to the improper food habits. Thus consuming the fast food is not bad habit but excessive consumption could be harmful and can cause various health issues among children (Solomon, Russell-Bennett and Previte, 2013).

2.6: Conceptual framework

On the basis of above discussion the three variables of advertisements strategies has been identified as major influencing factors for the consumption of fast food among the children. These factors or variables are using the celebrity or famous face in ad campaigns, creating the emotional mood so that the connectivity or relationship with children could be created and putting the fast food as essential element of lifestyle. These three factors work in combination and provide positive results for the fast food companies. Ahead the social factors which also work positively are the busy schedule of parents and most importantly the easy availability of fast food for the children (Trehan and Trehan, 2010). These three variables affect the mindset and behavior of children and motivate them to consume such food items. At the same juncture it could be stated that the selection of most appropriate advertisement channel is also a part of advertisement strategy. The source or media channel must be expressive like television or YouTube etc. Another factor is that the development of advertisement for children never operates on basic fundamentals like pricing factor, utility or willingness law and stages of buying behavior. It is just based on three I’s principle i.e. innovation, informative and interesting. Out of all these elements interesting’ is required to be considered most (Vieceli And Valos, 2000).

2.7: Case study of McDonald

McDonald has definitely get hold on the advertisement campaigns in order to appeal young age people. They face lots of competition from Burger king, KFC and other local fast food providers. Due to intense competition they need to have such strategies that can help on the ground of improving the brand value and awareness about their products could be created. The advantage with McDonald is that cleanliness is their major factor which provides the competitive advantage. It is to acknowledge that McDonald has availed benefits out of their advertisement campaigns and have successfully put positive impact at the mindset of children. In one of the ad campaigns the organization has shown very good emotional feelings and tries to provide feel good factor to its customers (Love, 2008). In that ad the daughter and father was having meal at their outlet and it shows the family bonding as well. Thus it put psychological impact and emotional connectivity with the brand could also create. The family values have been targeted. Use kung fu films into the ad campaigns also facilitate the McDonald to improve their positioning strategy along with using the themes and strong punch lines to promote the new products.

In the year 2004 the company has added some new features within their outlets and promotes these features at very large scale. The availability of toys was common scenario so that the children could be attracted easily. Further to remove the worry of parents regarding the unhealthy McDonald took some serious steps and these initiatives enable them to outrun their competitors. The nutritional items or food products were started to sell so that the diseases could be avoided. The McDonald creates their brand value as healthy fast food retailers. To attract the children the perfect meal combinations were also provided which were favorable as per the children. Thus here both parents and children have been targeted by the company. The results of these initiatives are that McDonald provides the cut fruit to children in UK (Gilbert, 2008). It ensures the health and safety as the food standards and reputation of brand could also strengthen. Ahead the value of sugar and added salt has also controlled within the food products as per the international standards. Thus these are certain factors that could be treated as positive aspects for giant fast food retailer in order to ensure the high consumption of children in UK with the help of advertisement strategies.

2.8: Conclusion

Thus above discussion provides the huge level of understanding about the techniques that could be used for the purpose of increasing the effectiveness of advertisements. It could be stated that there is huge requirement of understanding that who are our customers and including this element into the ad campaigns is required at very large scale. The interesting fact is that children generally break all the management theories and fundamentals as they behave in very peculiar manner. Their habits and demands are influenced by common environmental scenarios. They have their own thought process that might create trouble in developing the right kind of ad campaigns. Further the discussion has provided the learning related to the usage of right kind of media source or communication channel at right situation. Here the media channels which are expressive are most result oriented and favorable. But still understanding their emotions and behavior could be helpful in designing the advertisement. Overall it could be mentioned that the there is positive impact of advertisement of fast food on the consumptions of fast food among children.

References

Abideen. Z. (2011). Effective advertising and its influence on consumer buying behavior. European Journal of Business and Management. 3(3).

D'Esopo, M. and Almquist, E., (2007). An approach to mastering the marketing mix. Business Strategy Series. 8 (2). pp.122 – 131.

Donnelly, R. and   Harrison, G., (2009). The Marketing Planning Process. Routledge.

Drury, G., (2008). Opinion piece: Social media: Should marketers engage and how can it be done effectively?. Journal of Direct, Data and Digital Marketing Practice.  9(3). Pp. 274-277.

Gilbert, S., (2008). The Story of McDonald's. The Creative Company.

Goessl, L., (2010). Understanding the Importance of Consumer Behavior in Marketing. [Online]. Available through: < http://www.insidebusiness360.com/index.php/understanding-the-importance-of-consumer-behavior-in-marketing-12326/>. [Accessed on 11th May 2015].

Love, J., (2008). Mcdonald's: Behind the Arches. Paw Prints.

McDonald’s. (2013) Annual report [online]. Available from: http://www.aboutmcdonalds.com/content/dam/AboutMcDonalds/Investors/McDs2013AnnualReport.pdf[Accessed on 11th May 2015].

Miller, M., (2012). B2B Digital Marketing: Using the Web to Market Directly to Businesses. Que Publishing.

Miremadi, A. and Kazemzadeh, E. (2013). Consumer Buying Behaviour. Saarbrücken: LAP LAMBERT Academic Publishing.

Schaefer, A., (2011). Introduction to Marketing in Business. The Open University.

Schlosser, E. (2012) Fast food nation: the dark side of the all-American meal. Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Schultz, D., Tannenbaum, S. and Allison, A., (1996). Essentials of Advertising Strategy. NTC Business Books.

Sharp, B., (1991). Competitive Marketing Strategy: Porter Revisited. Marketing Intelligence & Planning. 9(1). pp.4 –10.

Smith, A.F. (2011) Fast Food and junk food: an encyclopedia of what we Love to eat. California: Green wood publishing group.

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