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Peer Review

The Heart Attack Grill: Taking Truth in Advertising to its Extreme



Overall Rating:

4.75 stars
Content Quality: 4.5 stars
Effectiveness: 4.75 stars
Ease of Use: 5 stars
Reviewed: Jul 09, 2013 by Business Editorial Board
Overview: This video from CBS News features the broadcast video segment report about a restaurant, the Heart Attack Grill, that presents "truth in advertising" about the food served. The video is a good learning object to introduce the ethics involved with producing and marketing harmful products. The real life restaurant featured in the video sells burgers, sides, drinks and condiments. The grille claims to promote food that is bad for your health. It also says these claims make it an honest restaurant. After signing into the sponsoring organization (Mindgate Media) discussion questions and text reference on the video are available. The presentation is on marketing and marketing ethics.
Learning Goals: To examine the responsibilities and outcomes of marketing dangerous products.
Target Student Population: College level learning material. However this may be useful in High School as well. This could be used in a principles of marketing course, or upper-level marketing strategy/management course. It would also be appropriate in a Marketing Ethics course.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: No needed pre-requisite knowledge or course. This could be used to introduce the concept, or in an upper-level class as a critical topic for a multitude of courses.
Type of Material: Presentation
Recommended Uses: This could be used in-class to introduce the concept of ethics and marketing dangerous products, as well as homework, or perhaps a team debate assignment.
Technical Requirements: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Safari, all played the video without a problem. Computer must be set up with audio.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 4.5 stars
Strengths: The video is professional and presents the promotional intention of the owner. The presentation raises appropriate questions for discussion and learning advertising methods and discuss ethics. This is a high-quality video, and is presented in an engaging way. Students will find it entertaining to some degree, but when presented in the context of a class topic, it is also quite relevant.
Concerns: The learning objectives are available to students, but so too might be the discussion questions, if they sign up for membership in the site. The discussion question provided are a good foundation, but I would like to see some summary documentation for instructors. The discussion questions need to be more focused. The suggested questions do not develop the topics well for discussion. There are many issues that can be discussed with this video. Better formulation of discussion questions would make the material more useful.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4.75 stars
Strengths: This is a self-contained video with good applicability to many courses, topics, and levels of students. The presentation is a very good tool for raising important issues in media advertising both for the promotional plan and in media ethics.
Concerns: I do not think that students will fully grasp a "building upon previous concepts" unless the instructor presents that information to them, since this is a stand-alone video presentation. The sponsoring site requires registration in order to view all the materials. Enough teaching support materials do not accompany the presentation. The sponsoring site has other excellent video’s that it seems this material is promoting.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 5 stars
Strengths: This is a high-quality video, professionally presented. It is appropriate for multiple applications, and instructors could design additional uses and applications for their own needs. The presentation is good because it presents an actual situation, not a theoretical one. The controversy over ethics should raise awareness of students learning marketing.
Concerns: Accessing discussion questions is complex and lacks good instructions. Discussion questions need to be developed in categories more completely. The textbook is not available for viewing except through purchase and the viewer is directed to Amazon for that purchase.

Other Issues and Comments: The material is enjoyable to watch and presents a real life marketing strategy that raises ethical questions.