ORCA General Poster Session (Virtual)

Title

The Evolution of McDonald’s: As Seen on TV.

Presenter Information

Jay GibsonFollow

Academic Level at Time of Presentation

Junior

Major

Sociology

Minor

Psychology

List all Project Mentors & Advisor(s)

Dr. Alexandra Hendley

Presentation Format

Poster Presentation

Abstract/Description

When thinking of fast food, McDonald’s is often one of the first that comes to mind. However, we rarely think about how this industry giant has changed over the years. From this point the question is asked, how has McDonald’s advertisements changed to suit their ever-growing audience? What, if anything, has caused these changes? Many might simply say the changes come with the times, but research reveals that there could potentially be much more serious reasons, such as the anti-obesity movement and battles in the legal field. By analyzing numerous television advertisements from the 90s and recent years, I find that the television advertisements of the past featured children and other child-friendly themes, compared to current advertisements that tend to focus on adult consumers. From this, I argue that, while certainly not the only cause, the anti-obesity movement, especially the anti-childhood obesity portion, was a strong factor in the apparent shift in McDonald’s advertising format.

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The Evolution of McDonald’s: As Seen on TV.

When thinking of fast food, McDonald’s is often one of the first that comes to mind. However, we rarely think about how this industry giant has changed over the years. From this point the question is asked, how has McDonald’s advertisements changed to suit their ever-growing audience? What, if anything, has caused these changes? Many might simply say the changes come with the times, but research reveals that there could potentially be much more serious reasons, such as the anti-obesity movement and battles in the legal field. By analyzing numerous television advertisements from the 90s and recent years, I find that the television advertisements of the past featured children and other child-friendly themes, compared to current advertisements that tend to focus on adult consumers. From this, I argue that, while certainly not the only cause, the anti-obesity movement, especially the anti-childhood obesity portion, was a strong factor in the apparent shift in McDonald’s advertising format.