The Scary Power Of Branding
A study done by Stanford University among preschoolers in the US showed anything made by McDonald’s tastes better. The study powerfully demonstrates how marketing can trick the taste buds of young children. Even carrots, milk and apple juice tasted better to the kids when they were wrapped in the familiar packaging of the Golden Arches. The study had youngsters sample identical McDonald’s foods in name-brand and unmarked wrappers. The unmarked foods always lost the taste test. “You see a McDonald’s label and kids start salivating,” said Diane Levin, a childhood development specialist who campaigns against advertising to kids. Study author Dr. Tom Robinson said the kids’ perception of taste was “physically altered by the branding.” The study likely will stir more debate over the movement to restrict ads to kids. It comes less than a month after 11 major food and drink companies, including McDonald’s, announced new curbs on marketing to children under 12. More from Time Magazine.