Sep 3, 2007

Power of Propaganda

Article in today's New York Times shows us the benefits of branding.

Consumers, who had eaten a 911 calorie calorie meal at "unhealthy" McDonalds estimated that their meal contained 764 calories. But consumers who had eaten a 911 calorie meal at "healthy" Subway, estimated they'd only consumed 559 calories.

Beyond that, a different study showed that consumers who'd eaten a Subway BMT sandwich, which weighs in at 200 calories more than a Big Mac, assumed their meal was healthy and were more likely to order the full-sugar soft drink, supersize it, and then order cookies for dessert than those dining on the unhealthy-but-lower-calorie Big Mac.

3 comments:

toad's sixth reader said...

well it's all a question of what people WANT to believe, isn't it. i've worked on both fast food brands mentioned.

i always thought the JARED commercial was brilliant: he's just like you. he's fat. and he ATE his way to slimness at subway!

talk about a seductive pitch.

Robert Luciani said...

200 Calories more? Tisk Tisk I don't know about you but Subway is making some SubPar sandwiches.

Gotta love what branding can get away with.

I had a fellow student brag about hitting the gym, then follow it up with "now I don't feel guilty about smoking as much"

Just because exercise is good, doesn't mean one should smoke more

Toad said...

@TSR: Agree that Jared is brilliant. The casting (for lack of a better word- I realize you don't "cast" real people) is perfect- there's something about Jared that people respond to, that they believe in. He gave credibility to the whole "Subway is healthy" positioning in a way the most clever ad campaign couldn't have.

@Robert: Welcome to the Toad Stool. And don't get me started on the way Americans use "going to the gym" as a crutch for being unhealthy. The vast majority of people who go to gyms, even regularly, don't exercise hard enough to really make a difference. And then they use the fact that they "work out 3-4 times a week" as a free pass for overeating. (Or, in your friend's case, smoke.)

As for Subway, they have a range of sandwiches- some are healthy, some aren't. The healthy sandwiches are fairly clearly identified as such, but people tend to have selective viewing/hearing on that front.