The fast-food companies have advertised their fast food through kids commercial. The McDonald’s, Teen Titans Go!, advertisement was designed especially for children because McDonald’s company uses a Teen Titans Go!toy to make the profits. McDonald’s advertisement makes children feel excited about the toys that they will get if they come to McDonald’s. This ad was released in 2017, and it has aired on television. Therefore, children could watch fast food ads during the commercial break. It is very common to see the fast food advertisements for children represent toys more than representing fast food by itself. If children would be left to watch fast food ads by themselves, it could dramatically raise the childhood obesity rate. The main point of this ad is illustrating the “Teen Titans Go!” toy to promote their fast food and convince the kids to get fast food.

The advertisement begins with two kids who are sitting on the couch. The lady asks the kids with curiosity, “What are you kids up to?” One of the kids starts saying “Just having a,” then the other kid cuts him off by saying “super intense staring contest”. Then, the camera zooms into the face of the boy in the green shirt, the other boy in the blue shirt and the “Teen Titans Go!” toy with excitement. While they both are busy with a staring contest, a little girl comes in, and she says, “I have acquired the cuties from the happy meals.” The end of the advertisement shows the toys that the kids will get from the happy meal. There is also music playing in the background that makes the kids feel very excited with the happy meal.

This fast food advertisement from McDonald’s is targeting kids. The advertisement is mainly focused on toys instead of fast food like burger, fries, and soft drinks. McDonald’s makes this ad easy for kids to visualize, for instance, the colors in the background and things objects can be visually seen, are cool-toned colors such as green, blue, purple, pink and grey. These colors are the same as the colors of the Teen Titans Go!toys.

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Most ads would usually focus on promoting their product; however, some fast food ads like McDonald’s would rather promote toys. The article “Children’s Recall of Fast Food Television Advertising—Testing the Adequacy of Food Marketing Regulation” says that the companies represent food as the first priority, and the second priority is premium such as toys. Normally, advertisements are utilized to promote their products, but the kids’ ads are represented premiums as the first priority (Bernhardt 2). There are a lot of fast food ads that illustrate actual images of fast food, but the content of these ads would be designed for adult ads. However, in the McDonald’s, Teen Titans Go!, advertisement, the logo of McDonald’s which is an uppercase “M” only appears in the ad. There is no representation or image of any fast food because McDonald’s represent the excitement of the kids when they get the toys from the happy meal. For this reason, everything that was set on the screen ads has the purpose to connect the excitement of children. When the children get the toys from the happy meal, they are very excited. The editing technique of this ad used by zooming into the face of the boys and the “Teen Titans Go!”. This editing technique makes the toys more interesting and exciting. It also makes the toys more visible.

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According to Bernhardt, she goes on to explain that premiums barely appear in adult ads because fast food ads mostly promote their fast food in adult ads. For example, the premiums in the McDonald’s Teen Titans Go!ad is the toys. On the other hand, premiums usually appear in children’s ads (Bernhardt 1-2). Since McDonald’s knows their audiences; therefore, McDonald’s creates the ad that promotes the toys.  As a result, the kids could be automatically manipulated. McDonald’s strategy is utilizing the toys to hold children’s interest and attention. They associate the happiness of the children by promoting the toys that they can get from the happy meal. McDonald’s would also use a sense of humor that the kids could understand. In the ad, they use a language, a tone of voice, and a staring contest to connect with the feeling of children. This advertisement appeals to emotion because it makes the kids feel excited with the toys that come with a happy meal. Furthermore, the tone of colors that represents the “Teen Titans Go!” cartoon and the sense of humor makes the advertisement more visual for the kids. The ad does not only appeal to emotion, but it also makes an ethical appeal by engaging the reputation and credibility of “Teen Titans Go!” cartoon.

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The Teen Titans Go! toy is the main thing that the McDonald’s fast food advertisement is focused. McDonald’s company knows that the kids would like to enjoy playing with the “Teen Titans Go!” toy. The kids might not be able to recognize the McDonald’s, Teen Titans Go!, advertisement as fast food advertising. Children who watch the ad would be thinking that they have to get a McDonald’s happy meal, then they definitely can get the toys too. The discussion in the research of “Children’s Recall of Fast Food Television Advertising—Testing the Adequacy of Food Marketing Regulation” points out that two-thirds of children who have seen McDonald’s ads failed to recall any fast food, and they were likely to recall premiums. This article supports the fact that not every kid can recall fast food after they watch fast food ads. The studies of this article prove that fast food ads are more likely to present the toys on the advertisements to children more than their fast food. It further explains that “When children did recall food, they rarely mentioned the healthy choices these companies purported to be advertising under CFBAI [Children’s Food & Beverage Advertising Initiative] …” (Bernhardt). The result of this research specifies that even though the children would be able to recall the food from the fast food ads, they would still not have other healthy food options provided. It means that fast food ads would not provide information about healthy food or nutritious food. The fast-food companies care about advertising their product, but promoting healthier options would make the children have good eating habits. It would not only be good for children, but it would also be good for a society. People could live healthily and have a better lifestyle.

The fast-food companies have spent a lot of money to promote their product, fast food, but many people would question how about promoting healthier diets. According to the article “Evaluating Fast Food Nutrition and Marketing to Youth” points out that “The fast food industry spent more than 4.2 billion dollars in 2009 to advertise their products to all audiences. They are marketing to children and teens more than ever – exposure to fast food ads on TV increased by 21% for preschoolers, 34% for children (2-11), and 39% for teens (12-17) from 2003-2009” (Harris). The article also provides the statistics. McDonald’s spent $898.1 for advertising their audiences. The studies from the article indicate the number of children who viewed McDonald’s ads in 2009. There were 309 children in the age of 2-5, 368 children in the age of 6-11, and 284 children in the age of 12-17 viewed the fast food ads. The studies have shown the increase of children who watched the fast food ads, and it reveals that fast food advertisements would never demonstrate fast food as unhealthy food.  For example, some fast food ads would never say how much sodium, fat, and sugar are contained in one burger. They would never mention obesity. Bad eating habits such as eating too much sugar and fat could lead to obesity. The article “Comparison of the nutrient content of children’s menu items at US restaurant chains, 2010–2014” points out that “The majority of [fast food] menu items, especially main dishes, available to children still contain high amounts of calories, fat, saturated fat, and sodium” (Deierlein). For this reason, obesity has been an epidemic issue in the United States of America. The article “Childhood Obesity and Community Food Environments in Alabama’s Black Belt Region” supports the claim “Childhood obesity has been rising rapidly in the USA. The rate is higher among those at a lower socioeconomic status and racial/ethnic minority groups” (Li). This article observes the obesity rate in Alabama’s Black Belt Region. It indicates that a low-income environment tends to have more fast food restaurant than a high-income environment. In contrast, the high-income environment has more food options with nutritious food offered. The studies conclude that food environments could influence children’s eating behaviors (Li 669). In the low societies tend to be less informative about healthy food than high societies. The article name “Fast-Food Consumption and Educational Test Scores in the USA” urges that “American children are experiencing an epidemic of obesity, likely related to poor nutrition” (Tobin). Obesity is not only about consuming a high amount of sugar or fat, but it is also about not consuming enough nutrition per day. If children would spend most of their time to watch television, they would likely watch the fast foods ads during the commercial break. As the purpose of the fast food ads is to sell their products, for instance, burger, fries, and beverage, the fast food ads that have aired on the television could contribute bad eating habits. As a result, kids could be manipulated if parents would not pay attention to the time that the kids spend on the television. The article “Childhood obesity and community food environments in Alabama’s Black Belt region” suggests that “Parents and schools should pay more attention to reduce the negative impacts of food environments on children” (Li). Parents are the most important people who can help children to stay healthy and have a good eating habit.

It is good for the kids that they can get the Teen Titans Go!toy from the McDonald’s happy meal. Also, the company like McDonald’s makes benefits by increasing the sale of fast food from advertising to kids. The smart company utilizes the toys as premiums to make the kids want to go to McDonald’s. The kids also would be excited as they know for sure that they are going to get the toy with the happy meal; however, it is not enough for children. They need better options for healthy and nutritious food. If they are advised while they watch commercial ads, it would help them to stay informed. If fast food ads would provide healthy food, then the obesity rate in children in the United States of America would decrease.

Annotated Bibliography

Bernhardt, Amy M., et al. “Children’s Recall of Fast Food Television Advertising—Testing the Adequacy of Food Marketing Regulation.” PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 3, Mar. 2015, pp. 1–12. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119300.

This article talks about how the industry self-regulation of fast food companies failed to provide healthy menu choices. The research in this article observes children’s behavior after watching fast food ads. The article can be used to explain how McDonald’s uses toys as a premium to manipulate children. It can also be analyzed to describe the reaction of children with fast food ads. It is a reliable source because all the authors work in the health sector.

Deierlein, Andrea L., et al. “Comparison of the Nutrient Content of Children’s Menu Items at US Restaurant Chains, 2010-2014.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 14, Aug. 2015, pp. 1–7. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1186/s12937-015-0066-4.

This article studies the changes in the nutritional content of children’s menu items at U.S. restaurant chains between 2010 and 2014. The data was collected from 13 sit down and 16 fast-food chains. The article describes statistics that calculated for nutrient content. The result shows that there weren’t a lot of changes. Even though there are healthier options, there still be a higher amount of fat, saturated fat, and sodium. The studies of this article can be used as supporting details. It is a reliable source because it is a nutrition journal.

Li, Y., et al. “Childhood Obesity and Community Food Environments in Alabama’s Black Belt Region.” Child: Care, Health & Development, vol. 41, no. 5, Sept. 2015, pp. 668–676. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/cch.12204.

This article indicates the research on childhood obesity and the food environments in Alabama’s Black Belt Region. They observe how food environments affect the obesity rate. They found out that the obesity rate in Alabama was 42.1%, and it was much higher than the national average which was 30.6%. Therefore, this article is a good example to study how external factors play a role in the eating behavior of children. The article is used as supporting ideas. It is a reliable resource. The publisher is Wiley Blackwell.

Works Cited

Bernhardt, Amy M., et al. “Children’s Recall of Fast Food Television Advertising—Testing the Adequacy of Food Marketing Regulation.” PLoS ONE, vol. 10, no. 3, Mar. 2015, pp. 1–12. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0119300.

Deierlein, Andrea L., et al. “Comparison of the Nutrient Content of Children’s Menu Items at US Restaurant Chains, 2010-2014.” Nutrition Journal, vol. 14, Aug. 2015, pp. 1–7. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1186/s12937-015-0066-4.

Funny Commercials. “McDonald’s Happy Meal Commercial 2017 Teen Titans Go.” Youtube,18 Jan. 2017, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C2MPu3OJV5I.

Harris, Jennifer L., et al. “Evaluating Fast Food Nutrition and Marketing to Youth.” Fast Food F.a.c.t.s., Rudd Center for Food Policy and Obesity, 27 Oct. 2010, fastfoodmarketing.org/media/FastFoodFACTS_Report_Summary_2010.pdf.

Li, Y., et al. “Childhood Obesity and Community Food Environments in Alabama’s Black Belt Region.” Child: Care, Health & Development, vol. 41, no. 5, Sept. 2015, pp. 668–676. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/cch.12204.

Tobin, K. J. “Fast-Food Consumption and Educational Test Scores in the USA.” Child: Care, Health & Development, vol. 39, no. 1, Jan. 2013, pp. 118–124. EBSCOhost, doi:10.1111/j.1365-2214.2011.01349.x.