Advertising effects

Freshman (College 1st year) ・Communications&Media ・APA ・5 Sources

Marketing allows corporate associations to retain clients. Companies are seeking to extend their area of activity by raising large sales revenues. This purpose is accomplished by ads, an element that builds visibility within the target audiences. In other words, advertisement creates a bond between firms and their clients. Various considerations must be taken into account in the advertisement process for the sake of productivity. Ethics in ads for the safety of users, for example, should be maintained. Credentials can also be pursued to allow businesses to strengthen their presence on the market. Advertising stands out as an integral practice in business that cannot be ignored by the participants. The food industry hosts many companies that have learned the art of persuasion to attract their customers. The American Society showcases the outcomes of excessive advertisements that convince people to make numerous purchases of various products. Thus, companies that seek to achieve economic prosperity ought to learn how to sell their products efficiently and ethically to their potential markets.

Effects of Advertising


Advertising refers to the use of both visual and audio marketing communication to sell or promote products. This concept can employ either sponsored or non-sponsored personal messages to create awareness in the target market. Business organizations seeking to increase their sales utilize this ideology to fight negative competition as well as to generate huge profits from sales. The American fast food industry is an extremely competitive field that has significantly benefitted from advertising. Companies like McDonald’s, Subway, Starbucks, and Pizza Hut showcase high financial stability. On a broader perspective, advertising helps companies increase their market share (Chou, Rashad, & Grossman, 2008). This intervention also helps fight competition by passing useful information to customers to influence their purchasing decisions. Thus, fast food companies have invested heavily in advertising in pursuit of the realizable economic benefits.

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Role of Advertising in a Consumerism Culture

Ethical Advertising Standards

For efficiency purposes, fast food advertising is made under clear and strict ethical regulations. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) sets the legal and ethical requirements that companies should properly observe. For example, the involved companies are barred from advertising harmful food products that can pose adverse effects on consumers’ health. Also, companies are advised to desist from employing psychological tactics for demand stimulation. The FTC’s involvement in advertising is aimed at protecting consumers from being manipulated by unscrupulous business organizations (Schrempf, 2014). The companies that violate the set ethical requirements are usually subjected to the relevant legal actions. In this case, the FTC has been doing a great job considering the sensitivity of the food industry from a health perspective.

Effects on American Culture

The primary task of advertising is to influence customers to increase their purchases. Indeed, this approach has profoundly affected the American culture. Advertising has made fast foods an integral element of the American Society. Over the last couple of decades, advertising has enabled fast foods to infiltrate the entire country. Thus, America portrays a unique culture in which food is held in high esteem. As more food joints keep increasing, numerous adverts attract more buyers through advertisements. Precisely, the country has a high presence on billboards, print, online, and Television food advertisements. The U.S. can be defined as a fast food nation due to its overreliance on these products. For example, many Americans prefer buying fast foods more than taking time to prepare their own meals at home. This culture is also portrayed by a high overreliance on online food purchases through mobile applications. Evidently, Americans can have fast foods delivered to them at the comfort of their places of residence (Boyland, Kavanagh-Safran, & Halford, 2015). The fast-food culture evident in the country is to blame for the increasing cases of obesity and cardiac-related complications amongst consumers of all ages. Therefore, advertising has facilitated the creation of an unhealthy feeding culture.

For an advert to be effective, various persuasive techniques should be efficiently applied. The American food industry capitalizes on the pathos techniques that major on consumers’ emotions. The use of pathos allows companies to evoke emotional responses from customers. For example, some adverts showcase people enjoying certain foods; in other instances, advertisers can showcase negative aspects such as bloating and flatulence if people buy fast foods from other joints. This persuasive ideology is usually aimed at creating the advertising company’s positive image. Consumers end up developing loyalty to the advertising company whose adverts portray happiness and satisfaction.

The other approach is the logos ideology, which introduces the aspects of logic or reasoning. Logos discloses specific factual information regarding a product. Many food companies utilize this technique to inform the customers of a product’s ingredients and nutritional benefits. For example, an advert can mention the vitamins ingrained in a certain food, and their benefits for the human body. Also, the amount of calories is also mentioned to remove any worries of contracting cardiovascular diseases (Chou, Rashad, & Grossman, 2008). The logical reasoning in advertising fast foods is essential in the way that it enables consumers to make profound decisions before purchasing.

The last persuasive strategy is the ethos, which establishes an appeal to credibility. Customers always like purchasing products from reliable and credible companies. As a result, many fast food firms create adverts that highlight their honesty and credibility, especially, towards satisfying the market’s needs and interests. For example, McDonald’s refers to itself as the leading fast-food facility in the U.S. holding, and such a position comes with great responsibility and adherence to statutory regulations. This aspect results in persuading potential customers to acquire the products marketed. The combination of these three persuasive techniques makes it easy for fast food outlets to convince their target markets to make more purchases. For instance, fast food companies are ranked among the highest productive firms in the U.S.

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Critical Issues

Children and Advertising

Although advertising is beneficial to business organizations, it also poses adverse effects on consumers. In the fast food industry, adverts have proved to affect children’s health not only in the U.S., but also globally. The complicated aspect of advertising is that it facilitates unhealthy eating habits among children. To be precise, children under eight years cannot comprehend televised marketing messages. As a result, they accepte all advertisements and view them as accurate, truthful, and unbiased (Jenkin, Madhvani, Signal, & Bowers, 2014). The obesity epidemic taking place in the U.S. is an outcome of excessive fast food advertisements. Most fast food companies have been accused of targeting children in their advertisements. This result emerges at a period when obesity is proving to be an uncontrollable menace in the U.S. The critical challenge of advertising is that children are profoundly convinced by the actuating elements utilized in marketing. This aspect creates a scenario where children want to purchase different fast foods in pursuit of the benefits that were mentioned in adverts (Schrempf, 2014). In this case, advertising is affecting children negatively instead of improving their welfare. The poor nutritional habits adopted during childhood have high chances of lasting a lifetime. Adequate measures are needed to ascertain that children’s vulnerability is not capitalized on by fast food firms to maximize their sales and profitability.

Advertising in Schools

Advertising is a perfect mode of attracting customers and expanding market share. American schools host millions of students, thereby offering ground for corporate advertising. Most advertisements are made through commercialized radio and corporate-sponsored newscasts. The adverse effect of this move is creating an environment where children purchase every fast food product that is advertised. Fast foods are highly marketed in schools together with sugary drinks and candies. Children’s increased exposure to these advertisements amplify their consumption (Chou, Rashad, & Grossman, 2008). As mentioned earlier, the prevalence of obesity in America is a big challenge that may not be eliminated soon. Based on the harmful effects of these adverts, debates have emerged on whether corporate marketing should be banned in schools. For the safety of school going children, school advertisements ought to be abolished.

Health and Advertising

The poor state of health in various countries globally is attributed to the advertisement of food products. As more advertisements emerge in different media, people are highly subjected to new food products. The subject issue is that advertising encourages people to consume unhealthy products at a higher rate. In the modern society, cases of hypertension, diabetes, and obesity are on the rise. This unfavorable outcome stems from the influence created by the advertisements aired by different restaurants (Boyland, Kavanagh-Safran, & Halford, 2015). Many people are consuming foods with high-calorie content because of the persuasion ingrained in the marketing concepts. The bottom line is that high exposure to adverts influences customers’ passion for different foods. As such, proper measures should be initiated to prevent the American population from developing severe health complications.

Political Advertising

Political advertising can be termed as the utilization of advertising campaigns to facilitate debates. In the political environment, aspirants embrace advertising to market their ideologies and visions to voters. Their focus is set on attracting more voters to elect them into their positions of interest. The primary objective of political advertising is to win the people’s confidence and support (Jenkin, Madhvani, Signal, & Bowers, 2014). Political advertising is sophisticated in the way that people get wooed by ideas, but not products and services like in commercial advertising. As a result, many candidates fail to deliver their promises to the voters even after being elected. Political advertisements are also faced with cases of unethical practices as well as the lack of accountability (Schrempf, 2014). For instance, politicians make competing claims that are beyond review; they also utilize the platform of advertisement to taint and tarnish the reputations of their rivals. As a result, political advertisements house a high degree of negativity. Just like fast food companies, politicians have realized that political advertisements are essential in creating positive images of themselves. Another aspect of political advertising is that it influences the voting capacities and decisions of citizens. Politicians who get the chance to promote their candidature tend to win many followers. On the other hand, those who fail to impress the citizens, consequently lose their relevance (Boyland, Kavanagh-Safran, & Halford, 2015). These issues present political advertising as a competitive field in which creativity is significant. Thus, addressing the controversies can help increase the efficiency of political advertising.

Creative and Appealing Commercial

McDonald’s Dead Dad Advert can be termed as both creative and appealing. The advert revolves around a conversation between a young boy and his mother. The boy makes many inquiries about his late father, in regards to his appearance and the things he liked. The most significant part, which is also the end of the advert, is that the boy learns that his father loved McDonald’s burgers.

Unusual Elements

The unusual central element of the advert is the impression got from the character of a dead father in a food advertisement. The advert begins with a high degree of sadness as the boy goes through his late father’s belongings. The idea of linking a death theme with a fast-food product can easily trigger sadness, especially, amongst potential customers who have lost their parents (Barrie, 2017). Another unusual aspect is that the boys’ mother mentions how her husband loved girls. This segment does not seem appropriate since as a mother, she should not mention her husband’s unethical practices. Thus, despite the creativity involved, the advert has some weak points that alter its focus.

Target Group

The advert targets people of different ages. Precisely, both the teenage boy and his mother are seen walking for some distance to get to McDonald’s. In this case, the advert is aimed at drawing the attention of different age groups. As portrayed by the content, the advert targets children whose parents have the required purchasing power (Chou, Rashad, & Grossman, 2008). Despite the father’s death, the boy’s mother can still afford to take him out for a burger at McDonald’s. On a broader perspective, the advertisement targets the working adults. Precisely, targeting differentiated age groups is significant in the way that advert attracts more significant market share (Barrie, 2017). Based on the advert, the company is capable of achieving more purchases from both adults and children.

Appeal to Customers

The advert appeals to consumers by portraying a close mother and son relationship. Another appealing aspect is the portrayal of a connection between the son and his father’s likes and interests. For example, telling the boy that his father’s favorite thing was the burger the son is eating creates a strong sense of attachment (Barrie, 2017). Although the father and the son did not have many similarities, McDonald’s hamburger brings their interests together. This parallel also creates the impression that the same burger has been in existence for long, hence highlighting McDonald’s reliability and efficiency in the fast-food market.

Brand Name Recognition

The commercial enhances brand recognition since it brings two age groups together. Presenting a product that attracts people from different age groups associates the company with client satisfaction (Barrie, 2017). This aspect is also presented by the long distance the main characters have to walk to get to a McDonalds facility. Another brand recognition aspect is the strengthening of a parent and child relationship. Also, after the sad memory of his father, the boy is delighted to have a McDonald’s burger.

Ethical Standards

Ethical standards in the commercial are met by disclosing real life issues that happen in families. The advert does not exaggerate or limit the information that can influence customers. Uniquely, the advertisement uses a family-oriented approach, thereby not campaigning for the burger (Barrie, 2017). Ethical standards have been met by the company by providing information that is not falsified. Thus, the content uses an indirect approach to market the subject product for purposes of allowing customers to make their decisions wisely and independently.


Business organizations expand their markets through commercial broadcasts. The advertising provides them with the chance to disclose their products and services to their clientele. The fast-food industry is recognized internationally for its numerous advertisements and a vast number of customers. Many adverts influence consumers, especially, children to make more purchases of fast foods. The outcome of this approach is an increased consumption of fast foods that cause health complications. Although advertising elevates fast-food companies’ profitability, it does so at the expense of consumers. Due to this aspect, the FTC is setting legal and ethical requirements that advertisers should follow. More efforts are needed to help protect customers from the negative influence and effects of some products.

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Boyland, E. J., Kavanagh-Safran, M., & Halford, J. C. (2015). Exposure to ‘healthy’ fast food meal bundles in television advertisements promotes liking for fast food but not healthier choices in children. British Journal of Nutrition, 113(6), 1012-1018.

Chou, S. Y., Rashad, I., & Grossman, M. (2008). Fast-food restaurant advertising on television and its influence on childhood obesity. The Journal of Law and Economics, 51(4), 599618.

Jenkin, G., Madhvani, N., Signal, L., & Bowers, S. (2014). A systematic review of persuasive marketing techniques to promote food to children on television. Obesity Reviews, 15(4), 281-293.

Schrempf, J. (2014). A social connection approach to corporate responsibility: The case of the fast-food industry and obesity. Business & Society, 53(2), 300-332.

Barrie, J. (2017). New McDonald’s advert slammed for using boy’s dead father to sell burgers. Mirror. Retrieved from

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