After years of criticism, fast food restaurants have been working hard to move away from the unhealthy image. McDonald’s for example, was hit hard by many researchers and investigators coming out with accusations of how their food contains preservatives and additives that are harmful for consumers. This particular ad by McDonald’s advertises their new veggie burger by showing fresh vegetables making up an image that mimics a cow. Although their goal in this advertisement is to instill a feeling within consumers that there is no difference between their new veggie burger and their original meat options, it also fits into McDonald’s marketing goal in illustrating that their products are healthy and fresh. The issue with this overlaying action of masking fast or processed foods as “healthy” is that it creates an illusion that these companies have risen to the standards that consumers have been asking for. Other than being harmful to the general consumers, fast and processed foods that are offered at a convenient and cheap price point, proves also to be very damaging to the health of individuals and families living in poverty.
The lack of nutrition in the diets of low income groups have always been an issue. Although a recent 2015 report by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention claims to have disproved the “myth” of higher consumption of fast and processed foods within lower income groups, the report ignores the lack of options low income individuals have, compared to the purchasing agency middle or high income groups have in choosing what shows up on the dinner table every night. Lower income neighborhoods often lack accessibility to grocery stores which means an inability to obtain fresh produce, dairy products and meats. When convenience stores and fast food restaurants outnumber supermarkets and farmer markets in lower income neighborhoods, individuals and families are more likely to intake unhealthy foods. Fast and processed foods are not only more accessible and convenient for low income groups but they are also offered at a cheaper price point. Lower income families are also disproportionately more exposed to marketing and advertisements that encourage the consumption of fast foods and sugary drinks. Although new research may dispel the myth that low income groups are the ones that consume the most fast and processed foods, they cannot deny that low income groups are more vulnerable to unhealthy diets from companies like McDonald’s who offer fast and processed foods with little nutritional value.
When I first saw this ad I thought it was very simple, creative and straight to the point. However I felt that it did not match what McDonald’s offered in terms of processed foods with low nutritional value. I decided to change the clean white background of the original ad into a dirty landfill full of trash. I then added a paintbrush and syringe. I tried sending out the message that the food McDonald’s or any other fast food company offered were plain garbage and belonged in the landfill. It did not looked like garbage nor did it looked like it belonged there, because companies use color additives, like the paint brush painting the pepper red, and preservatives like the ones inserted by the syringe, to create an illusion that their products are healthy, delicious and ready for human consumption. Last but not least, I added the McDonald’s logo to mimic the original ad. Through my jammed ad, I hope that others will continue to question the harms of consuming fast and processed foods and hold companies like McDonald’s to the highest standards. I also hope to create awareness that this “garbage” is nowhere close in being a viable, cheap and convenient alternative for fresh produce and meats. Hopefully more awareness regarding this issue will lead to a decrease of consumption and increase of healthier lifestyles among the public.