Wednesday, May 6, 2009

McDonald's + Marketing = Better than 6-Piece McNuggets

Thank goodness marketing improved since this picture was taken.

I really love that Josh always picks sexy topics like Star Trek's new ad campaign, car ads, and the like, but I choose topics like the Les Schwab guy and McDonald's.  This probably says a lot about why I live at home with my parents.

For those of you guys that haven't had a chance to be inspired (and filled) by your neighborhood McDonald's, I would encourage you to all go and visit one.  If you actually take me up on that advice, please order a #10 six-piece for me.  Oh.  And two apple pies for $1.  What a deal.

McDonald's has come a long way from the old days of horrible salads, entirely processed foods, Morgan Spurlock's Supersize Me, and a clown for a spokesperson.  Seriously...who thought up the idea that Ronald McDonald would be a good spokesperson for your brand?  Haven't clowns always been creepy, or is that just a Gen Y thing?  If this was the pinnacle of advertising in the 80's and early 90's, I obviously was born ten years too late.  I would've been brilliant.

McDonald's latest venture in their rebranding and business evolution is the introduction of the McCafe.  This line of pseudo-premium coffee beverages at slightly lower prices is designed to undermine Starbucks and create market share for the hamburger giant.  In the spirit of eating into the market share of the Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts of the world, McDonald's is committing over $100 million to its efforts to spread the good word to consumers everywhere.

McDonald's latest venture is fantastic; the company launched the business during an economic downtown, its Seattle-based (and snobby) competition is closing stores, and people are looking for tasty escapes from everyday life.  The integrated marketing communication plan involves TV, radio, print, online, and outdoor ads.

The only critique I have about McDonald's integrated marketing communications plan can be summed up in one world; integration.  Especially in online ads, we see a lack of connectivity between a Facebook group, the McCafe theater banner ad posted on Youtube yesterday, and communication to the end consumer.

McDonald's failure to utilize social media lessens the impact of its $100 million campaign.  By creating and official Facebook group run by the company and promoting the McCafe website through the Facebook group (and vice versa), McDonald's could increase touch points and develop a stronger connection to the consumer by furthering the integration of the marketing campaign.  This move, similar to the moves made by Pinkberry, increases the possibility of seeing a more loyal (and zealous) fan base.

Please, McDonald's...step up the one area that can really bring you great bang for your buck (a marketing "value meal" if you will); social media.

I'm hungry; good thing the dining room is open 'til 10 p.m. at my favorite McD's.

- Mama said knock you out -

Phil Jones


Lyn said...

I've stayed in a Ronald McDonald House. They have helped many, many children.
I've never cared for their food, but always felt they gave a great deal to all communities.

Jenna said...

Phil - Do you know if McD's uses Fair Trade Coffee? I can't really see GenY people saying "Hey you want to grab coffee and talk? Let's go to McD!" Although I think from a East Coast/West Coast perspective - this will be way more effective on the East Coast, since the only real option is DD. Which in my head is almost the same as McDs...would be another interesting thing to look into.

Phil Jones said...

@ jenna; I definitely think coffee and talking is a West Coast thing, and I doubt McD's uses Fair Trade coffee. I always love me some DD and I believe McD's coffee is more in line with a DD pricing and consumer model, but I think the impact on the West Coast may be creating new coffee consumers who may not drink at Starbucks but still want more premium coffee experience.

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