Everything we see, from the news, to restaurant menus, to advertisements have been framed. The people in charge of producing the media present it with an angle; a frame. When it comes to things like ads, the framing is most likely going to be directed at a target audience.
For example, this ad here is targeted at people trying to save money or budget. The text, images and colours have all been used to frame the poster in a way that screams its affordability. Even the title “loose change menu” suggests that you wouldn’t even miss the money you spent to purchase the item.
Despite one of their advertisements claiming all you need is a burger, McDonalds also used framing to create a ‘perfect meal’. This advertising plants the image in peoples mind that they wont be satisfied until they have the full combo: burger, fries and a drink.
This ad also directs people towards their app, as the deal is only available on the app. Of course this part of the deal is portrayed in tiny font so that people are more likely to be caught up in the fact that they can buy an entire meal for $6. Once people go to buy the meal they will realise they have to download the app, and before long they will be receiving regular notifications of deals and reminders to eat at Maccas.
As you can see, McDonalds has used many different framing techniques to target different types of people and draw them to certain things like the loose change menu or the Maccas app. Their marketing techniques are easily missed in passing but quite obvious when you stop to examine the way they frame their ads
We as individuals also develop our own way of framing things as we grow up, this is called schema. This impacts how we perceive things. throughout childhood we begin to form little connections as we expand our knowledge and experience the world. Over time, repeating patterns stabilise in memory as association chains, kind of like a spiderweb. Our schema continues to develop and change as we grown and fit new ideas into it.
Let’s tie schema back to the McDonalds ads. If I grew up going to Maccas with my family and only ever got a burger on its own, I would probably be a lot less inclined to fall for the ‘perfect meal’ advertising and would rather feel satisfied with purchasing just the two dollar burger. On the other hand if most of the time I went to Maccas I got a meal, or, if I rarely went to Maccas, I would be much more inclined to fall for the framing techniques used in the second Macca’s ad.
These techniques and ways of thinking impact us in so many ways. Next time you are on Tiktok, watching the news or out at a restaurant, see if you can pick out the way things have been framed. You might be surprised!
Mitew, T 2021, ‘Internet paradigm III: Framing and the Construction of Perception, online lecture, BCM112, University of Wollongong, viewed 12 April 2021,<https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=1&v=IufUFmHACGI&feature=emb_title&ab_channel=TeodorMitew>
McCombs School of Business 2019, ‘Framing | Concepts Unwrapped’, viewed 17 April,<https://www.youtube.com/watchv=6fPQqqEoU3Y&ab_channel=McCombsSchoolofBusiness>
Fledge, S 2017, ‘Framing Theory: How The News Shapes The Way We Think’, viewed 17 April, <https://www.youtube.com/watchv=SuwNCyYxxlA&t=1s&ab_channel=SamFledge>