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18 November 2013

Over Three Billion Food and Beverage Brands in Popular Movies

Keywords: advertising, brands, fast food, food, movies, obesity, teens, tweens, North America, brand placement, content analysis, health,

Children and teens are the key targets for ads promoting food and beverages through various media sources. A study in Journal of Public Health investigated how often youth are exposed to advertising for food and beverages in popular movies. It turns out that in movie theaters alone, they are exposed annually to more than three billion brand placements of unhealthy food and beverages.  

Take aways

  • Youth are exposed annually on average to more than three billion foods and beverage brand placements in popular movies.
  • This concerns especially brands of sugar-sweetened beverages and fast food.
  • For obesity prevention policies it‘s important to consider that popular movies for children and teens contain high levels of food and beverages brand placements. 

Study information

  • The question?

    How often are children and teens exposed to food and beverage brands in popular movies? 

  • Who?

    A total of 200 popular movies from 1996 to 2005

  • Where?

    United States

  • How?

    All 200 popular movies were coded for the number of food (e.g., salty snacks, candy or fast food) or beverages (e.g., sugar-sweetened beverages or water) brand placements.

Facts and findings

  • Children and teens were exposed annually to more than three billion brand placements for food or beverages in popular movies, from 1996 to 2005. 
  • More than half (69%) of the popular movies contained at least one brand placement of a food or beverage. 
  • Children and teens saw the most (70%) food or beverage brand placements in G/PG-rated movies. 
  • Most ads in popular movies were for sugar-sweetened beverages (e.g., soda) and fast-food.