Brand in the news – McDonald’s

Joe is Marketing Week’s agency specialist.

Seemingly enjoying a brand renaissance of sorts, McDonald’s has reported a 100th consecutive month of positive sales figures, and has hailed the role of advertising as a driver.

The fast food chain reported European sales for August were up 2.7% year-on-year, led by performance in the UK and Russia,

Both countries have benefited from unique new ways of advertising the restaurant, making greater use of music to highlight its “premium offerings”.

Leo Burnett is the chain’s UK agency of record and has been working with the brand on a range of marketing activities – covering food, corporate responsibility, sponsorship activity and design frameworks.

The agency says there has been two main strands towards its approach to creating adverts for UK audiences – reminding people why they love McDonalds, via the “There’s a McDonald’s for everyone” series and building trust with parents and health-conscious audiences via the “That’s what makes McDonald’s” series, and more recently the “We do Happy”.

The approaches have seen a subtle move from being just about “I’m lovin’ it” – though this does still appear as the brand’s slogan – and is much more about the brand itself. As McDonald’s CEO Jim Skinner notes, it’s much more about earning an “ongoing consumer appeal” by being seen to be “modern and convenient.”

Recent moves to add calorie counts to menus will only help to bolster these perceptions. As a Leo Burnett spokesperson puts it, “the ads seek to re-ignite latent love for McDonald’s as a family destination – suitable for all audiences” while others will highlight McDonald’s commitment to corporate social responsibility, citing staff training opportunities, environmental initiatives and its commitment to their local communities – a wise choice for a brand often lamented for its sport sponsorship links and pivotal as closer to home, London 2012 moves ever closer.

Effie Worldwide – which stands for effectiveness in marketing communications- and spotlights marketing ideas that work and encourage thoughtful dialogue about the ever-changing marketing industry, recently voted McDonalds as the most effective brand globally,

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