The Top 10 Junk Food Ads Targeted At Kids

It’s news today that Disney is no longer going to air junk food ads targeted at kids. And though this certainly is a step forward in the battle against childhood obesity, I can’t help but feel a certain nostalgia for the junk food ads that were targeted at me in my childhood. Craig and I started the day today recalling our favorite junk food ads growing up and I had the idea to compile them into a list. What follows is certainly subjective, but even if these commercials don’t ring any memory bells, they’re worth watching for the insidious ways that they ensnare children into buying their products.

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Our Brainwashed Bellies

The commercial goes something like this: a female college student unwraps a package sent to her from her mother, who’s on the phone, standing near a window where sunlight illuminates her smiling face. The girl’s face soon lights up too when she discovers the gift that her mother so thoughtfully sent her way: a jar of Jif peanut butter. “I love you mommy,” says the girl or maybe it’s the mom who says, “I love you.” Either way, I watched this commercial at the gym, while running on a treadmill, and I remembered it. And I’ve been thinking about it ever since.

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The Soda Tax

The commercial that you see above really irked me the first time that I saw it. In it, a woman grouses about a bill to tax soda in New York State (a similar bill is being proposed in ten other states, including California and Washington), making the point that she can barely make ends meet (though, as my friend Mark Blankenship points out in his post about it, the woman has an “enormous kitchen”) and urging Governor Paterson to focus on “out-of-control spending in Albany” rather than how much it should cost for her kids to drink their beloved soda.

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