A new study has shown pretty conclusively that marketing to kids works frighteningly well. Some of the scarier highlights include the fact that kids as young as 2 years old have beliefs about certain brands. Or the fact that when given identical items, one unpackaged, the other packaged in a McDonald's-brand container, they were up to six times as likely to say they preferred the McDonald's-branded item, and four out of five times overall they said they preferred the taste of foods packaged in the iconography of the golden arches. And, of course, the more TV kids watched and McDonald's food they ate, the more likely they would prefer it over others. There are a few lessons to be learned here:
1. Large corporations are evil, soulless horrors that spend the equivalent of a small country’s yearly GDP to get your children to do unhealthy things. 2. Educating your kids about the hazards of mass-media advertising is crucial. If you don’t, they will end up as obese automatons, mindlessly sucking down deadly toxins on orders preprogrammed in their toddlerhood. 3. Get rid of your TV, or at least keep it off most of the time, or it may happen anyway. Don’t you deserve a break today? 4. The upside? If you can get your hands on a bunch of McDonald's containers and wrappers, you can probably use them to get your kids to eat damn near anything.
The researchers conclude that this might strengthen the argument for restricting or even banning advertising aimed at children. Well, no shit. – Cory Casciato
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.