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COP3 - Primary Research - The Children's Test

As part of my research for this dissertation, I decided to make use of some of my contacts in order to reach a demographic that has cropped up a lot in my primary research so far, Children. My cousin is a primary school teach in the North-West of the UK and I asked her if she would do a small exercise with her class for my benefit which she complied to. She teaches children of mixed gender and between the ages of 5 and 7.

The exercise is split into three parts; 1, 2 and 3.

Exercise 1 & 2

 The first two excursus are based on branding, which is the main focus of my dissertation. There are two logo's, One being a Nazi Germany Flag and the other being the Flag of McDonald's. There are also two questions underneath these logos;

1. What is this logo?

2. Is this logo good or bad?

The questions are opinion based and are not too difficult for the children to understand and give some sort of answer. The main objective of this exercise is to get some sort of gage at how young the majority of a population is being introduced to McDonald's in comparison to how young they are being introduced to basic World History.

Exercise 3

After the first two exercises, a separate excersise was taken place to get the children to write down and draw their favourite foods. This is to understand how much McDonalds or Fast Food Restaurants in general have control over a children's brain and diet.

Exercise 1 & 2

So here are some of the examples taken from this experiment. 

The Swastika Logo

Interestingly 100% of the year 3 Students didn't know what the swastika logo was. This isn't a massive surprise seeing as the teacher told me that World War 2 hasn't really been covered in their history lessons at this stage in their education.

Some students was on the right lines with the logo being linked to World Events, Countries and history though, wish is nice to see. One child has written 'China' and another has written 'To World'. The most humorous is probably an answer that says 'naughty' which hits on how 'naughty' the Germans really were. 

around 65% of the children noticed that this logo was bad however which is interesting. 

The Mcdonalds Logo

On the contrary to the Swastika, 100% of the students knew what the McDonalds logo was (even if the spellign wasn't quite there) which is not very surprising in some aspects, but still quite staggering when you actually think about it. 

Similarly to this 100% of the students believe that this logo is good. I know that they will all enjoy the food and whole McDonalds experience, so again this is unsurprising. But should they be believing it's good at such an early age, or is is quite dangerous? 

Exercise 3

One of my favourite exercises was the third and final. I got the children to list and draw their favourite foods, and some of the results are very interesting. I'd day a good majority of the children listed and drew fast food on their cards, which is equally as worrying, knowing that fast food is the preferred food of choice from these very young individuals...

This example here is one of the 'better' ones from the bunch. The student has listed Noodles and Pasta under her favourite foods which is really quite good as an example. It looks like she might have drawn what looks like a Spagetthi Bolognese or maybe even some noodles to accompany this. There also seems to be some sort of Birthday Cake and a Bag of Crisps?

This is probably my favourite example from the bunch. The student has simply written 'chicken nuggets' in the favourite food section, which is directly linked to McDonalds as they pioneered them from the very beginning. This is accompanied by a (quite an impressive may I say) sketch of a Happy meal, A Drink or McFlurry and some detailed Chicken Nuggets. 

Another great example here. Somebody has listed all the foods that might be served at McDonalds and maybe other Fast Food Joints too. Chips, Mash, Mc Steak Pie (whatever that may be), Cheese and Pizza. 

The 'Mc Steak Pie' is a very interesting example in you actually look deeper into this and make some assumptions. We know that there is no such thing as a 'Mc Steak Pie' that can be served in McDonalds. The child might regularly eat  Steak Pie, maybe at home, maybe it's healthy, that's not important. What is important is that even though this product is not associated with Mcdonalds in any way, the child clearly wished it was. He has automatically and subconsciously added the word 'Mc' in front of a standard food product. This example demonstrates some of the levels that McDonalds branding and Advertising is working at, and working on people at such a young age. 

As for the drawings, they have drawn a Pizza which you might expect. But again if you look a little closer into the drawing. The pizza is surrounded by a box. Pizzas that are given to you in a box are generally Fast Food. Not Fresh. 

Another chosen example child here has gone very much down the McDonalds route. For their chosen favourite food they have gone for 'burgs' (meaning burgers), Pizza and 'Macflury' (meaning the famous McFlurry). Two of these products are served and associated directly with Mcdonalds.

The drawing looks like it's representing the text. A burger and a McFlurry. 


Very interesting results which will help me so much with a section of my dissertation which is focussing on the branding and advertising toward children. I will look and analyse deeper into some of these if needed along the way. 

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