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Ethics of Target Marketing: Process, Product or Target?
Unformatted Document Text:  8 The advertising component of the marketing mix is obvious: the television ads played during cartoon shows and other popular children’s programming and the “free” toys in the Happy Meals, called promotional items. The advertisements typically feature children enjoying Happy Meals, especially the toys that come with the hamburgers and fries. They also depict parents being encouraged to take their children to McDonald’s and joyful families together at the fast-food restaurant. These advertisements clearly are paid for by McDonald’s, present a persuasive pitch (tell your parents to take you McDonald’s; happy families eat at McDonald’s) and identify the sponsor. The toys included in Happy Meals are a promotional tool to encourage children to return to the fast food chain and select McDonald’s over other fast food restaurants. McDonald’s produces several toys for a single Happy Meal, creating a demand to return to McDonald’s to collect all of the toys. The public relations component of McDonald’s marketing plan may be less obvious to the average consumer. Many McDonald’s have play areas, similar to playgrounds, where the kids can interact while parents relax. Inclusion of these play areas is a public relations tactic to encourage parents to bring their children to McDonald’s (rather than to another fast food joint that does not have a play facility) and to encourage children to want to go to the fast food restaurant. Also, the play areas persuade both children and parents to spend more time at McDonald’s and thus perhaps purchase more food. By providing these play areas, the company is building a relationship with its customers. Another component of McDonald’s public relations campaign is its charity: the Ronald McDonald House. This charity supports programs that improve the health and

Authors: Fisher, Brooke A..
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8
The advertising component of the marketing mix is obvious: the television ads
played during cartoon shows and other popular children’s programming and the “free”
toys in the Happy Meals, called promotional items. The advertisements typically feature
children enjoying Happy Meals, especially the toys that come with the hamburgers and
fries. They also depict parents being encouraged to take their children to McDonald’s
and joyful families together at the fast-food restaurant. These advertisements clearly are
paid for by McDonald’s, present a persuasive pitch (tell your parents to take you
McDonald’s; happy families eat at McDonald’s) and identify the sponsor. The toys
included in Happy Meals are a promotional tool to encourage children to return to the fast
food chain and select McDonald’s over other fast food restaurants. McDonald’s produces
several toys for a single Happy Meal, creating a demand to return to McDonald’s to
collect all of the toys.
The public relations component of McDonald’s marketing plan may be less
obvious to the average consumer. Many McDonald’s have play areas, similar to
playgrounds, where the kids can interact while parents relax. Inclusion of these play areas
is a public relations tactic to encourage parents to bring their children to McDonald’s
(rather than to another fast food joint that does not have a play facility) and to encourage
children to want to go to the fast food restaurant. Also, the play areas persuade both
children and parents to spend more time at McDonald’s and thus perhaps purchase more
food. By providing these play areas, the company is building a relationship with its
customers.
Another component of McDonald’s public relations campaign is its charity: the
Ronald McDonald House. This charity supports programs that improve the health and


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