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Fast-Food TV Advertising Aimed at Kids: Who's Doing it and How?

FAST-FOOD TV ADVERTISING AIMED AT KIDS WHO'S DOING IT AND HOW? A study examined all nationally televised fast-food ads aimed at kids from July 2009 to June 2010 99% of all fast-food ads targeting kids were placed by just two companies: 1) MCDONALD'S BURGER KING HAPPY MEALS KIDS MEALS of all ads for of all ads for children's fast-food meals were for children's fast-food 70% 29% meals were for Happy Meals. Kid Meals. of McDonald's total of Burger King's total 40% 44,602 21% 37,210 ad placements were targeted at kids. ad placements were targeted at kids. 79%* OF THE MORE THAN 25,000 FAST-FOOD ADS AIMED AT KIDS AIRED ON FOUR CHANNELS: 12% nicKTOons 32% CN CARTOON NETWORKC DIENEY 16% 79%* 18% nickelodeon *WHEN ROUNDED, NUMBERS SUM TO 79% WHAT TACTICS DID THE COMPANIES USE WHEN MARKETING TO KIDS? This was determined through a frame-by-frame comparison of ads aimed at kids and ads aimed at adults. In ads aimed at kids, BRANDING IS STRONGER FAST FOOD 23% ADULT ADS 12% ADULT ADS 88% CHILDREN'S MEAL ADS | 41% CHILDREN'S MEAL ADS IMAGES OF FOOD PACKAGING STREET VIEW OF RESTAURANT In ads aimed at kids, FOOD IMAGES ARE SMALLER The food images in the ads aimed at adults averaged 45% of the screen diagonal. The food images in the ads aimed at kids averaged only 20% of the screen diagonal. THAT'S BECAUSE FAST-FOOD ADS AIMED AT KIDS AREN'T EMPHASIZING THE FOOD. INSTEAD, THE COMPANIES ARE EMPHASIZING: PREMIUMS, SUCH AS MOVIE TIE-INS TOY GIVEAWAYS CINEMA 14% ADULT ADS 1% ADULT ADS 69% CHILDREN'S MEAL ADS 55% CHILDREN'S MEAL ADS WORD EMPHASIS IS ALSO DIFFERENT WORDS IN ADS AIMED AT KIDS WORDS IN ADS AIMED AT ADULTS EMPHASIZE: EMPHASIZE: TOYS FOOD TASTE MOVIES PORTION SIZE MOVIE CHARACTERS PRICE McDonald's and Burger King have pledged to abide by a set of marketing guidelines that include a provision stating that food-not toys or other promotions-should be the focus of ads directed at kids. These findings suggest that industry's efforts to self-regulate are ineffective. Learn more about food marketing to kids at www.rwjf.org/goto/marketingtokids Source: Data are drawn from "How Television Fast Food Marketing Aimed at Children Compares with Adult Advertisements," which examined nationally televised ads for children's meals by leading fast-food companies for one year, from July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010. The study was published in PLOS ONE and was supported by the Robert Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Wood Johnson Foundation through its Healthy Eating Research program. This graphic is not endorsed or sponsored by McDonald's, Burger King, Cartoon Network, Nickelodeon, Disney XD, or Nicktoons.

Fast-Food TV Advertising Aimed at Kids: Who's Doing it and How?

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Fast-food companies emphasize toy giveaways and movie tie-ins when marketing to kids on television, which suggests industry is not abiding by its own pledges regarding child-directed marketing, accord...

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