Food advertisements are designed to lure you into buying the product. And of course, once you buy it, you’re going to eat it, regardless of your good intentions to stick to a healthy diet. However, you don’t have to fall for their ad tricks and overeat.
Ads can be subtle, so it isn’t always easy to avoid their influence. Nevertheless, you can learn to recognize advertisement tactics and overcome their temptations.
1. Food styling tricks. Did you know that advertisers hire food stylists to make their products look more attractive?
○ Food stylists deliberately pick out the best products out of a lineup of hundreds. For example, they may go through more than 100 burger buns before picking one for the advertisement.
○ Food stylists use paint, fabric, glue, sprays, and other products to make the items look amazing.
2. Celebrity tricks. Advertisers frequently rely on celebrities to promote their food. This helps create more talk about the product and entices more people to try it.
○ Celebrities often pretend to eat food they may hate. They’re paid to advertise the food, so they’ll frequently carry it around with them but will not actually eat it.
3. Photo and video tricks. A food stylist may not be enough, so advertisers also manipulate their photos and videos. They use a variety of software programs to make the food look fresher and more enticing.
4. Music tricks. Advertisers pick their music carefully. The music used in food ads can be original or a top 10 hit from current artists.
○ In either case, advertisers pick music that is widely appealing and memorable. They know you’ll associate the food with the song, so they want the association to be positive.
5. Placement tricks. Have you noticed how food ads will appear with stories that make you hungry? This deliberate placement can be controversial and tricky.
○ In the past, food advertisers showed ads for junk or unhealthy treats in between cartoons for kids. Children would watch these food ads and demand that their parents buy the unhealthy products.
○ There are now laws that regulate advertisements during child programming, but you’re at their mercy during regular programming!
6. Healthy food tricks. Advertisers have noticed that more people are interested in their well-being and eating healthy foods, so they’ve come up with a new set of tricks. The ads will prominently show that a food is healthy. This may not be true, and you may be tricked into buying a product that isn’t healthy.
7. Scarcity tricks. Food ads may claim that a product will only be available for a short period of time, and you could lose your chance to try it forever. The product could vanish and never return again.
○ This scarcity trick makes you want to buy the food before it disappears forever. You’re fooled into a sense of urgency.
Food ads can be some of the most tempting advertisements around you. However, you don’t have to fall for these tricks and eat too much as a result. Learn to recognize their advertising tricks and you’ll be a smarter, healthier, food shopper and consumer.