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McDonald’s Proves Branding Works

This entry was originally posted on August 7, 2007 at the old Brandstory blog.

As if we needed more proof that branding works…

A report in the New Scientist details a recent study revealing that pre-school kids prefer foods wrapped in McDonald’s packaging over foods served in unwrapped packaging. Most parents are thinking, no duh. From the report:

“Dina Borzekowski at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Health in Baltimore, Maryland, US, and her colleagues asked 63 preschoolers, aged three to five, to sample two meals, each consisting of a chicken nugget, a quarter of a hamburger, french fries, two baby carrots and a small cup of milk.

Although both meals came from a local McDonald’s, only one of them appeared in its original packaging. Researchers presented items from the other meal in plain wrappers, which lacked the company’s distinctive logo.

In most cases children said they tasted a difference between the two meals, and they overwhelmingly preferred the McDonalds-branded foods.”

Interesting. Kids preferred McDonald’s branded carrots by a margin of 2 to 1. Same carrots. Different packaging. They preferred the french fries 73% to 13%. All because of the golden arches. It’s not like we don’t know that branding/marketing/advertising works. After all, we spend well over $10 billion a year marketing products to kids. And billions more to advertise to adults. But it is somewhat disturbing to see the affects on kids as young as three.

Of course McDonald’s has known this for more than 10 years—watch the proof here.

Might be time to unplug the television.

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