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Food-sourcing themes in contemporary advertising September 21, 2013

Posted by rmshepard in Uncategorized.
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A new theme is going front and center lately in advertising for food products. Companies are reacting to consumer sensitivity about the origins of their food by highlighting the sources of their ingredients. In this case, “local,” “organic,” and “fair-trade” are all god terms.

While this trend is not necessarily new, Chipotle has proven the approach is valuable by launching two super-produced animated advertisements over the last few years highlighting their responsibly raised beef, pork, and chicken. Both have gone viral, and won praise from critics. Starbucks, too, is releasing a series of ads to highlight the origins of their coffee beans. The new “origins” campaign features documentary-style footage of plantations and local farmers, even following some of the individual workers to put a face on the people behind the legendary coffee. The campaign is similar to one running overseas, and is bound to create rich identification between consumers and the Starbucks brand.

For examples of the “food-sourcing theme” in recent food advertising, see the following videos:

Discussion Questions:

1.  What is cognitive dissonance, and what does it have to do with “food-sourcing”?

2.  How do the ads above attempt to lower cognitive dissonance for consumers?

3.  How are these ads different from other ads that simply highlight the quality of a company’s ingredients? More specifically, how do these ads attempt to address issues of ethics in the food business?

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