As more parents encourage their kids to choose the healthier options, it can seem like a losing battle when fast-food advertisements have your kids begging for hamburgers. And now a new study confirms your suspicions, fast-food restaurants have got some really effective marketing strategies targeted right at your 5 year old.
Time reports abot the new study published in the Journal of Pediatrics that looks at fast-food commercials that feature toy giveaways. The study finds that when kids see a fast-food commercial offering toys with your meal they will (you guessed it) go beg their parents to take them to said restaurant. And if you are a parent, you know just how persistent kids can be when they want something.
The study also found that the kids who saw the toy-giveaway commercials more, were likely to make more frequent trips to the fast-food restaurant. Networks like Nickelodeon and the Cartoon Network were most likely to show the toy-giveaway commercials for the two fast-food giants, Burger King and McDonalds.
Since the study looked at ads from 2009, fast-food restaurants admittedly have gotten a little better about marketing less to children and featuring ads more about the food than the toys. But it was only recently that McDonalds had to pull an ad after being criticized by the Children’s Advertising Review Unit for featuring a Happy Meal Beanie Baby toy that took up about one third of the commercial’s runtime.
What do you think of the way fast-food restaurants advertise to children?
Do you think fast-food restaurants should be allowed to feature toy-giveaways in their commercials?