brands under fire
Posted by Abe Sauer on July 30, 2013 07:46 PM
At periods in history, company names become shorthand for activism movements. "Halliburton" is shorthand for anti-war groups. "Goldman Sachs" the seance call of Wall Street reformers. And now—despite a valiant effort put in by Walmart—the signal for wage reformers: "McDonald's."
Gauging recent reactions to a few high-profile embrassments, it seems McDonald's US corporate communications has seized up and intends to try and ride out the outrage, even as the Golden Arches becomes the poster child for service work reform.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on July 23, 2013 01:47 PM
Maybe we should have seen it coming when, in its most recent Super Bowl commercial, Taco Bell celebrated a bunch of old geezers' night on the town. Or maybe it was evident in the brand's years and years of incessant messaging to teenage males.
In any event, it's hardly a surprise that Taco Bell is dumping its kids' meals so that it can focus even more on the maws and fast-food needs of the vital Millennial demographic. It's actually a bit more jarring that other QSR brands are undercutting their own kids'-marketing efforts by sending their well-known mascots—including the Colonel—the way of the dinosaur.
Yum! Brands-owned Taco Bell plans to drop kids meals and toys at all of its US restaurants by around January, USA Today reported. "The future of Taco Bell is not about kids' meals," Taco Bell CEO Greg Creed told the newspaper. "This is about positioning the brand for Millennials."Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 04:20 PM
Corporate mea culpas seem to be all the rage these days. But not at McDonald's. And not by CEO Don Thompson—or Ronald McDonald, for that matter.
Presiding for the first time over an annual meeting of McDonald's, Thompson spent a good deal of the time not discussing McDonald's sluggish growth or intensifying menu shuffling but simply defending the chain against charges that it's a bad corporate citizen because it sells and markets its food to kids.
Several speakers associated with Corporate Accountability International, a nonprofit corporate watchdog, grilled Thompson about the topic, accusing McDonald's of targeting kids, targeting children of color, undermining children's health and of contributing greatly to the country's obesity problem.Continue reading...
Posted by Dale Buss on May 24, 2013 09:25 AM
P&G CEO Bob McDonald retires from troubled tenure as predecessor A.G. Lafley comes back to the company to take the CEO post.
Google faces antitrust probe over dominance in online display ads.
AT&T imposes new wireless fee and adds iPhone to pre-paid GoPhone program.
Apple faces potential setback in e-books case.
Boy Scouts of America vote to allow gay scouts into its ranks.
Campbell Soup's parent acquires Plum Organics.
Daimler and Ford strengthen technology ties.
Dodge banks on Fast & Furious 6 tie-in to rev flagging Dart sales.Continue reading...
brands with a cause
Posted by Dale Buss on November 29, 2012 02:18 PM
McDonald's and its critics have gone back-and-forth lately about the proper marketing role for Ronald McDonald in the chain's fast-food business. But there's nothing to argue about in how well the McDonald's mascot continues to perform in another role: as the icon of the Ronald McDonald House Charities.
And as the holidays typically bring a focus to charitable causes for a number of reasons, McDonald's is in the midst of a new campaign — "Give the Gift of Togetherness" — to raise $1 million for the Ronald McDonald House operation by the end of the year.
It is relying on innovative multimedia tactics such as an animated video (by DDB Chicago) that tells the heart-wrenching story of how the organization has helped one mother and her young child, Summer, in the jumbled aftermath of a terrible auto accident.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Mark J. Miller on August 13, 2012 04:22 PM
Fast-food giants share a not-so-secret recipe: make the up sell, adding fries to your bill or talking you into some kind of combination meal.
But the up sell isn’t working quite the way it used to. Consumers aren’t asking for "the #5 with fries" anywhere near as much as they used to, Fortune reports. A study by NPD Group finds that sales of combo meals at fast-food restaurants have gone down 12% in the last five years.
That means a billion fewer combo meals were ordered in the five-year period ending this past January than were ordered up in the five years before that. The lousy economy has something to do with it, but the study also showed that consumers would like to have more options in their combos.
The grand-daddy of the combo meal is the Happy Meal, which has been holding on for dear life. Revamped in time for the London Summer Olympics healthier menu marketing, it's been hit in markets such as Chile, where the government is now prohibiting restaurants (but it might as well say "McDonald's") from including toys with meals.Continue reading...
Posted by Shirley Brady on July 30, 2012 05:42 PM
We've noted how McDonald's, as one of the TOP sponsors of the London 2012 Olympics, is promoting its new lower-calorie menu and Team USA contest in the US, and encouraging kids (and adults) in the UK to get active and check out its revamped Happy Meal, among other local marketing efforts ahead of the games.
The company brought its top executives to London for the Games opening last week, where the big message was "McDonald's Takes Olympic Stage to Announce Advances in Children's Well-Being, Menu Innovation and Access to Nutrition Information."
Now the Summer Games have started, the fast-food giant is rolling out digital and social content that aims to "match the fun, competitive spirit of the Olympics," according to a spokesperson.Continue reading...
chew on this
Posted by Dale Buss on May 7, 2012 12:53 PM
McDonald's latest limited-time U.S. promotion touts its icy fruit drinks, including "Pucker Up," below. Now the fast-food giant has received something of a wet kiss from an unexpected corner — The New York Times — for turning around its reputation in America.
Sunday's New York Times Magazine paid tribute to McDonald's for engineering a comeback in a feature, titled "How McDonald's Came Back Bigger Than Ever," that gives credit to its U.S. brand strategists and franchisees. And, to some extent, for succeeding on the terms of the activist opponents who've been criticizing the chain over its ingredients, menu and marketing to kids.Continue reading...