Marketing and the Fast Food Industry
The ultimate themes of fast food chains are high visibility and global recognition. The earliest establishments, ostentatiously designed in an attempt to attract attention, were strategically placed alongside highway off-ramps in order to draw in customers. Simplistic logos, such as the legendary golden arches, began to bring recognition to the fast food chains. The fast food industry’s ability to sell convenience and taste then allowed the popularity of fast food to gain momentum. Eric Schlosser, the author of Fast Food Nation, explores the various tactics used by the industry in order to achieve global recognition, target children, and why it is more productive to reach children than to target other age groups.
One method used to achieve global recognition was to apply the concept of synergy. Synergy can be defined as the cooperation between two or more organizations to produce results greater than the sum of their separate effects. In simplistic terms, two or more companies combine forces in order to benefit themselves more than they could have done individually. Two companies who have effectively utilized this concept are the Walt Disney company and the McDonald corporation. They were able to propose marketing deals, provide giveaways, and swap executives amongst their companies. The cross promotion strengthened ties between Hollywood and the fast food industry, allowing the McDonald corporation to gain global recognition. Studies show that children have an easier time identifying characters such as Ronald McDonald than major political figures such as the president of the United States. Half of Australian nine and ten year olds thought that Ronald McDonald was an authority on what they should eat. In Beijing, all of the primary school children recognized Ronald McDonald, saying that he 'understood their hearts'. Germany has more than one thousand McDonalds, many popping up inside of Wal-Marts, because they know lots...
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