American children see over a thousand fast food commercials on television every year, and hundreds more from McDonald’s than any other brand. McDonald’s ads reach children between the ages of 2-11 more than twice the amount of its competitors in the U.S.
And McD’s has more to come: It just launched an NFL Happy Meal to reach kids early when they’re choosing their team fan allegiance, according to Ad Age.
The correlation between the prevalence of fast food and obesity gained more validity when Mexico overtook the United States as the most overweight country this year, according to a United Nations study. “American-sized” portions of burgers, fries, and sodas have recently become more popular among some of Mexico’s urban areas.
In July, McDonald’s CEO Don Thompson told Bloomberg TV that parents are responsible for their children’s’ diets, and said that “I will let my kids have fries if they are active and moving … Burgers and fries are an American staple.” He also told a nine-year-old girl at a shareholders’ meeting in May that his company did not sell junk food. The company has a history of targeting kids, rather than parents, with its ads.
McDonald’s has also been pushing its healthier Happy Meal options more than ever, which include milk as a beverage choice and apple wedges as a french fry substitute.
In its new NFL Happy Meal campaign based on Nickelodeon’s NFL Rush Zone animated series, McDonald’s and Chicago ad agency Leo Burnett are pairing their old healthy options promotion with the more traditional commercials selling toys. Here’s the new commercial, via AdAge:
“We have elevated our partnership with the NFL this year…The NFL Rush Zone allows our youngest consumers to get in on the action,” McDonald’s wrote in a press release.
The campaign is also crucial for the NFL, which has been increasing its youngest viewership, especially among girls. “For us, kids are a major priority, especially kids in the 6-13 window,” Peter O’Reilly, the NFL’s VP fan strategy and marketing, told AdAge. “This now takes it to another level.”
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