Burger King launched a promotion tied to the June 24 release of Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. This new effort includes a game, dubbed “Transform Your Way”, as part of which consumers can win prizes via two scratch-off game pieces attached to BK menu items. The game will be held through July 19th.
Each kids meal will come with a Transformer toy that is based on a scene from the movie. There are a total of eight toys in all and they will be available only while supplies last.
Here are a couple of spots currently running on television:
At the same time, in Sao Paulo, Brazil, prosecutor Marcio Schusterschitz, asked a judge to ban such sales nationally, also including the ones of McDonald’s, claiming that toys sold with meals in fast-food outlets can lead children to develop bad eatig habits. He futher claimed that fast food toy promotions encourage children to buy high-fat meals through “the abusive creation of emotional associations” that turn them into life-long eaters of high-fat foods. Currently in Brazil, McDonald’s is running a Spiderman promotion, BK is running The Transformers and Bob’s, the largest Brazilian hamburger chain is running a set of collectible toys featuring Scooby Doo.
Similar efforts have taken place in Chile where there is a project of law currently at the Senate for approval. Such law will ban the use of toys/premiums in restaurants as a way of promoting consumption.
However, a recent survey shows that more and more youngsters are making moderate food choices at restaurants, choosing apple slices instead of the ever popular french fries to accompany their cheeseburgers. Another study shows that childhood obesity rates have leveled off in the past few years. This is NOT a coincidence.
The New York Times notes that children are typically allowed to place their own orders. They are starting to pick healthier foods even though nutrition trends have yet succeed in banning advertising or free toys with the purchase of a kids’ meal.
Taking food away is clearly not the way we will end up with healthier kids. Allowing them to make their own choices and providing them with healthy options, are much better alternatives. Linking advertising to obesity in kids is also a little far fetched. The parents have the final say in what kids end up with in front of them. Kids today are much smarter than what food activists give them credit for.
Over the past year, there have been some interesting trends to note. Several of these have been caused by the economy however:
- Kids’ Meals with toys down 11 percent
- Restaurant birthday parties down 5 percent
- Cola’s ordered down 10 percent
- Grilled chicken sandwiches up 26 percent
- Yogurt up 21 percent
- Carrots up 9 percent
- Fruit up 6 percent (thanks to McDonalds apples, BK apple fries, Wendy’s mandarines, and Sonic’s bananas - all which are offered as part of their kids’ meals)