The visible hand in economics

Image does make a difference

Posted on: August 7, 2007

So food with a McDonalds wrapper does taste better. Now I’m sure many people will take this as a sign that advertising is evil, as it can lead to children being overweight, however I think it is an awesome service provided by McDonalds. You see McDonalds advertising makes food taste better, they increase the value of the product to an individual by advertising it, and getting all your senses excited. Although two otherwise identical products might seem homogeneous to you, the fact that the McDonalds wrapper is on one and not the other implies that one has the value associated with advertising while one doesn’t. As all McDonalds is doing is increasing the value of their product, thereby increasing demand I don’t have a problem with it.

However, there may be a role for government intervention yet. If McDonalds is an addictive good, and the consumer had no a priori knowledge that it was addictive, then the increase in future consumption (and the associated negative effects) of McDonalds is not taken into account when the person purchases a product. By advertising, they can increase demand and make more people fast food addicts. Now to do not know the degree with which fast food is addictive. However, government regulation, such as education or limits on advertising could be useful.

Update: Hehehe a cartoon.


5 Responses to "Image does make a difference"

I wonder what the effect would be if the wrapper simply said McDonalds. The perceived taste improvement could be attributed to the fact that the kids know that the name McDonalds means great quality food. Maybe not…

I have to admit, I love that Boss burger thing. The most unhealthy thing they have but damn it hits the spot, whatever the spot is

Brand Value

Advertising makes us want stuff. What’s the normative significance of this fact? The most obvious thought is to see it as a bad thing: marketing manipulates our preferences, effectively brainwashing us into wanting things that don’t necessarily coher…

Valuable article.Thanks!

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