an analysis of the yum chums series of advertisements created by mcdonalds

In my coursework I will be analysing adverts made by McDonalds and the techniques that it uses to attract children and make them want to go to McDonalds or to send the message through the advert to be healthy and active, how McDonalds use their adverts to appeal to kids. Following an outbreak of media attention, in August 2004, McDonalds launched a series of educational cartoon characters, the Yum Chums, to promote balanced diets and exercise for children. Essay will be about how McDonalds made an advert to bring back the restaurant again.

Britain’s biggest commercial children’s television network has created a cartoon series starring a group of healthy eating monsters in an aim to deflect criticism for screening junk food in their advertisements. The first focus on this essay I observed about the ‘Yum chums’ advert were the characters used as stereotypes which are specifically designed to appeal to different children. The advert introduces the characters by zooming into the clown at the beginning and making it look like it’s going into the stomach of Ronald.

It then shows five different characters like the skater dude, the girly one who likes to dance a lot, the geeky one with the glasses, the big one and the baby one. These talking creatures are like fantastical and unrealistic and some of these ideas are stolen from Monsters Inc. So this will grab the attention of the young minds. This is also telling the children that people with glasses are all geeks and all girls like to dance, spin and scream. The McDonalds use the stereotypes to ensure and to reach each different child.

This would allow them to sing along with the characters and engage with them and this could encourage the children to go and eat at McDonalds. When the characters are moving around they have bright hypnotic colourful patterns and shapes in the background and the jumpy music. The use of colour in this advert is rainbow colours and mostly children’s favourite colours and the music is very catchy and would make children sing it all day which is the aim of the advert and to make children want to come to McDonalds. The colours represent an Alice in Wonderland kind of style.

The colourful background and the bright contrasts are used inside the stomach of the clown when the yum chums are running around and singing. This is to grab attention of the child and it shows zaniness with all the colourful hypnotic rainbow patterns that would catch the children’s eye and hypnotise them so that they will not look away. The McDonalds advertising Company know how to attract a child’s mind and that’s why they added bright coloured patterns and shapes and this is how they control of the young minds. The camera angles in the advert make it seem zany, crazy and more fun attracts children.

The use of camera angles is quite comical and eccentric and they use canted camera angles and they zoom into certain objects like the clown at the beginning. The cameras angles on the clown makes the children think of the clown as a humorous person that they can relate to the clown as the cameras make him look silly and playful and it is the only adult that acts like a child. The lop-sided and canted camera angles make the clown look quite silly and foolish. The children are being constantly attacked as the characters are perpetually running towards us.

The camera repeatedly zooms into the characters and the camera makes the image spin round and this happens consistently. The spinning of the camera is also another way of hypnosis and fascination that will not allow the child to look away. Some of the messages that the advert is giving out is not taking in and so is lost. Towards the end, where the clown is jumping about, skipping and being active he is telling the children to also be active but the message is lost as the clown is distracted by the way he is jumping up and down on the trampoline.

The yum chums has a mis-en-scene at the end when the clown the is talking and it has a drum that looks the shape of a drink and a there’s an object on the side that looks a bit like a burger and on the pinball there seems to be diagonal orangy-yellowy lines which represents French fries. The children would probably see them but won’t realise but then they would feel hungry and would like to go to McDonalds. McDonalds know that kids would nag their parents to get what they want. This is called ‘pester power’. Once the child sees the yum chums advert it would make them pester their parents and make them take them to McDonalds.

That is the aim of the yum chum advert. The message overall from the yum chums advert is a bit confusing. Is it purely about healthy living or is it just about trying to save themselves from the bad reviews that they got from ‘super size me’. They are trying to tell the children to be more active but they are also telling them that there are little creatures in their stomach that is making funny noises which means that the yum chums are telling you to be active because McDonalds know how a child’s mind works and they know that children would believe anything.

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