Health in Advertisements

By Michael King

After seeing the two Chipotle commercials in class last week I had mixed feelings about their message. On one hand, I felt like they were very powerful messages delivered in a way that would both get the audience interested and make them think about the way food is produced in this country. Many of us know that much of the food that we consume on a daily basis comes from factory farms but it is not something that we necessarily think about every time we eat. The Chipotle commercials not only emphasized the negative effect of factory farming on the animals, but the farmers and workers as well. I thought that this was a really good way of making people consider all of the effects of this way of life, even the ones that were not immediately obvious.

On the other hand, I found the Chipotle commercials to be rather disingenuous. The fact that they did not include their company name anywhere until after the audience already felt the remorse and guilt of eating factory farmed foods. It felt to me as if they didn’t want the audience to know it was a Chipotle commercial until they had already arrived at a conclusion about this way of farming. I think that if the commercials had started out with a large Chipotle logo it would not have been as effective because many people know that Chipotle only uses free range meats “when available”. Instead, the commercials sought to tug on the heartstrings of Americans, and it’s hard to tell if Chipotle’s goal is a moral, or capitalistic one.

Chipotle is of course not the only restaurant to brag about their “healthy” alternatives. Other fast food restaurants advertise their salads or “low calorie” options but rarely is any real information given. These advertisements prey on the average person’s need to feel healthy or moral when I believe that the companies actually have no investment in an individual’s health. While I don’t see these major corporations backing off from this tactic any time soon, I think there are solutions. Better public health education would allow people to make educated, healthy decisions about what they consume without having to rely on information from the companies that profit from selling unhealthy foods. This is why communicating about health and the environment is so important and why I think this class will be extremely useful in our everyday lives.

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3 thoughts on “Health in Advertisements

  1. How restaurants communicate through their advertisements is absolutely important especially when their information often comes across as disingenuous. Like cigarette advertisements from the past, it is necessary for the consumer to know the actual effects that come from the product that they are consuming. While I don’t believe that there should be a surgeon generals warning on burrito wrappers, restaurants should show a more clear message as to some of the issues that come with eating their food.

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  2. This article is very similar to mine, in the sense that they both critique Chipotle’s advertisements. This article seems to praise the company for it’s attempts at creating a healthy food environment. This keeps your article very objective and well balanced. The communication used by advertisements are very important to the American food industry, so a better message when it comes to displaying their food’s possible health issues would make for a better industry.

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  3. The way each restaurants portray themselves in the media is very important. Such as Wendy’s showing their spokesperson walking through a field of green talking about how everything is fresh cut or how McDonalds is bringing back their healthy alternatives and took away their super size option. Displaying delicious farm grown food or showing cute animated animals really speaks to some people making us wanting to go and get that exact meal.

    – Tarah Klenk

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