Lovin’ it: McBranding hooks preschoolers, study finds
Preschoolers preferred the taste of burgers and fries when they came in McDonald’s wrappers over the same food in plain wrapping, U.S. researchers said, suggesting fast-food marketing reaches the very young.
“Overwhelmingly, kids chose the one that they perceived was from McDonald’s,” said obesity prevention expert Dr. Thomas Robinson of the Stanford University School of Medicine, whose work appears in the Archives of Pediatrics & Adolescent Medicine.
While prior studies have looked at the impact of individual ads on kids, Robinson and colleagues set out to study the overall influence of a company’s brand — based on everything from advertising to toy premiums and word of mouth.
It comes as many food and restaurant companies face pressure to cut back on marketing to children as rates of obesity among that age group continue to climb.
Robinson and colleagues conducted a taste test with a total of 63 kids aged 3 to 5 who were enrolled in a Head Start preschool for low-income families.
They were offered five pairs of foods and asked if they tasted the same or to point to the one that tasted better.
The food — taken from the same order — was wrapped in either McDonald’s packaging or unbranded packages in the same color and style.
In about 60 percent of the tastings, the kids preferred food in the McDonald’s wrapper.
“They actually thought the food tasted better,” Robinson said in a telephone interview.
No surprises here, huh? There’s a reason why corporations toss millions of dollars at the NFL so they can broadcast a 30-second ad during the Super Bowl.
If you’re skeptical, just take a look at Dubya’s improbable career. As writer Terry Pratchett observed in another context, Not-So-Curious George is an empty man “who applied for the position of Village Idiot but failed because he was overqualified”. However, thanks to money, a diabolical Karl Rove and a big wardrobe department, this cretin stole the Presidency by hustling gullible voters who should have known better. Yes, Bush was a lousy student/businessman/Governor, but he’s a great male model.
Look, give him a megaphone and a fireman to use as props and he’s a compassionate humanitarian who cares about his community. Look, give him a cowboy hat and boots and he’s a hard-working, blue-collar guy you want to have a beer with. Look, give him Tom Cruise’s used costume from Top Gun and he’s a brave fighter pilot fighting to keep America free. People loved this bullshit so much they ordered seconds.
And who’s to say this gold-plated propanganda won’t work again? Look at how well Ghouliani is doing with an oxygen mask, a steely gaze, and the ruins of Ground Zero. He’s getting more dicks to stand at attention than a Jenna Jameson marathon.