Friday, September 29, 2006

2 posts in one day=)

School is something that is important to me right now. It is helping me be more confident in myself. Staying at home as a mom, definately helps to develope character, but I felt I was lacking in my education and I was very unclear as to what my future would be. So bear with me as I brag on all of my accomplishments in the months to come=) Here is my 1st of many essays in my English class. I just got my grade and it is 91/100. Way to go me=) We had to write an essay on an advertising campaign.

For Us Or Profit?
Donna Schuster

In today’s economy advertising has a strong influence. A lot of time and effort goes into persuading people to buy a specific product. Most companies target one or two specific people groups or try to group all people together. McDonalds is a company who goes to great extents to win over every group of people they possibly can, in order to gain more profit. As they are trying to win these people over they try to make us think it is in our best interest.

One way McDonalds advertises is by using the slogan, “I’m lovin’ it”. This slogan is portraying to us that the consumer loves McDonalds food. To go along with “I’m lovin it” McDonalds uses people of different ethnicities as well as having the slogan written in different languages on their packaging. This is turn is trying to portray to us that everyone loves McDonalds, no matter who they are or where they come from. This advertising technique alone is a strong way to persuade people to come to McDonalds. If everyone else loves it, so will I.

Another way McDonalds advertises is by using different visuals and words to create an image they want us to believe. While exploring the McDonalds website, a few things were very appealing. All of the pictures on the homepage were of youthful, athletic people. There were pictures of people participating in various sports, and all of the people shown in the ad were of a healthy weight. Also noticeable was a section claiming to have many choices to create a balanced diet. From these different advertising images we are made to believe that McDonalds is a food eaten by youthful, sporty people and that we can expect to get a balanced meal at McDonalds. When individuals are made to believe something is in their best interest they feel better about their choices. So because McDonalds claims to have good choices of food, people won’t give much thought to it and they will go eat at McDonalds. When a company advertises something like, having different choices for a balanced diet, consumers tend to believe them and not argue about it. If something is written, it must be true!

As discussed earlier, McDonalds tries to target all different groups of people. McDonalds uses different techniques for different age groups. Seniors are targeted with the senior discount. Seniors like to congregate at McDonalds, especially in the mornings for their discounted coffee and to read the complimentary copy of the newspaper. Seniors can sit in McDonalds dining room and mingle with other people their age enjoying the heat in the winter and cool air in the summer and they can stay as long as they want without having to tip anyone. Kids of all ages love new toys, so the Happy Meal is a perfect choice for kids. Some McDonalds also have a free indoor playground, which is very inviting anytime of the year. The Dollar Menu is a nice touch for anyone, but is definitely used to target the teen or young adult who have to survive on very little money. Don’t forget the fun games McDonalds offers. The most well known is the Monopoly game. This is a campaign to persuade anyone, of any age, any race, or any income level to keep trying for that free car or huge money prize.

Not only does McDonalds target different groups of people, but they also target different types of people. Value meals are used to interest people who are in a hurry. Value meals are so easy they even have a number. All you do is drive your car up to a window, order a “number 3”, while talking on your cell phone, channel surfing and any other number of things. It requires no thought. The Premium coffee, with already added cream and sugar, also targets the person who is in a hurry. Breakfast is another item that targets the person who is in a hurry, and includes the moms who are in a hurry to get their kids fed and to school on time. A newer item is the Mighty Kids Meal, which targets the children who need more food. These meals included bigger portions than the regular Happy Meal, a double cheeseburger rather than a regular cheeseburger or a 6-piece McNugget instead of a 4 piece. If you are young enough to want a toy, you shouldn’t be eating a double cheeseburger and medium fry. Recently it seems that McDonalds is trying to add healthier options to the menu. We now have the choice of apple dippers instead of fries, milk, chocolate milk, or apple juice instead of soda, to make the Happy Meal more nutritious. For the adult things like the Fruit and Yogurt Parfait, Apple Walnut salad and the new Asian Salad have been added to the menu. McDonalds is very eagerly trying to

entice the health conscious person into trying their new healthier options so they will have one more group of people eating their food.

McDonalds advertising technique seems to be creating a desire or need for their food when it may have not existed in the first place. McDonalds is providing more and more options for anyone who wants them. The consumer is targeted by a false belief that all these changes and offerings are in their best interest when in fact the bottom line is more profit.

2005-2006.September 21, 2006.

902 words, spell-checked, specifics

Self Evaluation

I had a rough time writing this paper. I actually really dislike writing papers. I get really flustered and think that whatever I wrote doesn’t make sense. I go back to the assignment description numerous times to make sure I am doing it right. I guess what I am trying to say is that I second-guess myself too much. I can sit and stare at my paper or computer screen for an hour just trying to figure out what I am going to do instead of doing something. My husband was a huge help, but he was out of town the whole week that I had to revise my rough draft and finalize my essay. I was really intimidated at finishing the task on my own. Here I am at the end and I think I did a pretty good job. One other thing I had a hard time with was trying to keep my paper my own. With two other people in the class doing a paper on McDonalds and having their papers to read was hard. I felt like I was going to say the same thing as them or say something to contradict what facts they had. I was really scared that I would be told I plagiarized their paper. One thing that was very helpful to me was having the prior assignments, the discussion and the outline in particular. I liked the discussion because it was very informal and not intimidating, but was easy to turn into something that was more formal. I loved the outline; it was a visual that helped me write my rough draft. I was somewhat of a pre rough draft for me. I had no problem writing my rough draft because I had a format to follow. It helped ease my anxieties. Hopefully the next paper will be much easier for me with this one out of the way!


Crystal said...

Good job Donna! I loved your paper. And if you ever do need any help with your english, it's one thing that I'm good with so you can always call me. I loved the part in your paper that said "If you are young enough to want a toy, you shouldn’t be eating a double cheeseburger and medium fry". That is so true! You go girl, you're doing great!

nursemomof4 said...

Great job! I wish you tons of luck with this! I know going back to school with 2 kids in tow was a great challenge for me, but I did it! I finished! Now, going back with 4, lets just not think about it right now! Congratulations on your scores!

GrammaBear said...

Great job on the essay, Donna! I love all the information you gathered and the understanding you gleaned from it. Sure makes you realize why other, more health-conscious, countries like France just hate to see McDonald's come into their neighborhoods.

Margo said...

I'm in school right now as well, Donna. It's tough with kids. Keep up the good work and don't give up!!

Bek said...

i liked it donna - - you had a lot of good details. and good details always make for an interesting read...