Mass Media Essay

1496 words - 6 pages

The marketing of fast food has become one of the biggest businesses in the world. Companies are spending top dollar on advertising to make us profoundly aware of their products and promotions. In 2009, American fast food chains spent a total of $4.2 billion on advertisements. To put that amount into perspective, the New York Times compared that to the Center for Nutrition Policy and Promotion, the agency that “works to improve the health and well-being of Americans by developing and promoting dietary guidance that links scientific research to the nutrition needs of consumers.” Its annual budget? $6.5 million. The fast food industry is controlling what we are exposed to everyday and are doing whatever it takes to make us buy their product.
Research Method
According to Bowles (2014) we need to “understand representations in terms of their real-world settings because of their potential impact on decision-making behavior.” Bowles also states “If we understand how the media represent these large and important concepts, we will be closer to explaining how these representations can also cause concepts- and thus behavior and social experience- to change over time.” For this paper, I collected six examples of fast food advertisements to see how it is being represented and how they are affecting society. I chose this because I wanted to see how obesity, false advertising and objectification of women were being exemplified within the ads. As I mentioned in my intro, we are subject to so many fast food advertisements that, as a society, we have become numb to the cruel messages being presented. I agree with Bowles when she says if we understand how media represents certain concepts maybe our decision making will change over time. Right now, our decision making towards fast food is negatively affecting society as we continuously fall into their “marketing traps”. My research is limited by the number of examples examined and to make any official conclusion more examples are needed but I believe this is a useful sample size to demonstrate how fast food ads are very misleading.
Description of Ad #1
The first advertisement shows a woman about to “eat” a sandwich with the wording “IT’LL BLOW your mind away” and “She’ll tell you size doesn’t matter. She’s lying.” This is a repulsive way to objectify women and an example of how fast food chains try to create a relationship between sex and their food. The top ad shows a Mcspicy and a mega Mac with the text reading “You deserve a mega Mac”. McDonald’s makes you believe that their food is a treat, something you should work for.
Description of Ad #2
The next ad I found is similar to the first. It displays a woman “covering” two burgers which are located where her breasts would be. The text reads “We’re about to reveal something you’ll really drool over.” This is just another example of a fast food company using women as a way to sell their food rather than portraying them as an actual person. This...

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