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Posts Tagged ‘McDonald’s’

Burger King Rebranding Stunt Succeeds Without Fooling Anyone

It’s only Wednesday and Burger King already won the prize for “most obvious marketing stunt of the week” with its supposed transformation into “Fries King.”

Twitter’s response can be summed up in a single word: TROLL! Hold on though, because it’s a little more complicated than that.

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Chipotle Aims to Tackle ‘Big Food’ with New Multimedia Campaign

Chipotle‘s food may contain some GMOs (score one for transparency), but that obviously won’t stop the brand from gunning for “Big Food”. This high-budget movie makes that point clear with a tune swiped from Wille Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, and while we do prefer the Gene Wilder version to this Fiona Apple cover, the clip looks great:

The campaign also includes a mobile game in which players attempt to guide livestock toward the kind of free-range living that Chipotle claims to promote, and it won’t stop there: a series of four half-hour online episodes will expand on this “David and Goliath” story throughout the year.

The idea that Chipotle is a scrappy, organic upstart fighting “The Man” via the big, bad world of industrialized food production is more than a bit of a stretch—at the end of the day, it’s still a fast food chain once owned by McDonald’s. But as long as the brand’s writers and marketers don’t make any dubious, Naked Juice-style “100% all natural” claims, they’ll be just fine.

Coke’s All-Digital, Teen-Targeted ‘AHH Effect’ Campaign Proves AHH-ffective

It’s been almost six months since Coca-Cola launched its first ever teen-targeted, all-digital, content-based campaign, The AHH Effect, which has been continually releasing new “experiences” via multiple variations of www.ahh.com (each including one more “H” in its URL). Each site features “a teen-worthy moment of randomness, creativity and delight that’s best experienced from teens’ favorite gadgets – their mobile devices.” Just in the past month, 20 more AHH.com URLs have gone live.

In case the all-caps have confused you, the “AHH” in AHH Effect is not meant as a panicked scream, but as a satisfied sigh. Coke’s initial release about the campaign described it this way:

The AHH Effect” is that multidimensional feeling of happiness, satisfaction and delicious refreshment one experiences after drinking an ice-cold Coke. It’s been described as the sound a smile would make if smiles made sounds, and it’s the centerpiece of a new teen-focused program from Coca-Cola. Bringing to life 61 dimensions of ‘AHH’ through a range of digital experiences, from games and films to GIFs, the program showcases all of the qualities of Coke and positions the beverage as the ultimate refresher.”

Included in the latest batch of experiences are several created with some of Coca-Cola’s key customer partners, including McDonalds, AMC Theatres, Six Flags and 7-Eleven. The brands partnered to explore the AHH Effect, and used the same combination of “gamification” and whimsy that Coke used during the initial launch of the campaign. For instance, the experience created with Six Flags, “Don’t Spill The Coke,” is a fast-paced game in which users try to keep their Coca-Cola from tipping over while riding a rollercoaster.

A seriously clever campaign that touches on many things digital experts point to when dealing with teens: their love of mobile devices, short attention spans, and willingness to engage others in something that interests them. But is it working?

Statistics gathered by Coke would point to the AHH-firmative. Read more

Would You ‘Follow’ Your Favorite Brands on Spotify?

And we were just starting to like Spotify.

Thom Yorke‘s least favorite streaming music service wants to partner with brands to create “sponsored playlists” and other sly promotional features that have yet to be revealed. In what might be the world’s most incredible coincidence, this announcement comes two days after Apple announced the coming launch of iTunes radio, which will be supported by such brands as McDonald’s, Pepsi and Nissan.

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How Major Brands Want to Monopolize Our Children

Depending on what kind of family you were raised by, you either have lovingly wonderful or horribly debilitating memories of the iconic board game, Monopoly. If you had the type of sister who lent you money, you probably think life is fair. If you had the type of brother who spit in your mouth, you probably think Monopoly is the root of the global recession. That game brought out the best and worst of our siblings.

Nevertheless, few would argue Monopoly needed to be kicked up a notch, particularly considering the public ill will towards soulless megabrands and the corrupt state of our financial institutions. Making Monopoly any more corporate—particularly now—would just be tone deaf and greedy far beyond taking your brother’s money and fanning yourself with it, right? Well, you may want to sit down for this. Read more

McDonald’s Canada Wants to Show You Where the Beef Is

Yeah, no.

In case you never watched Dudley Do-Right as a kid, we’ll let you in on a little secret: things are different in Canada. For instance, McDonald’s Ontario recently added the McLobster to its menu. Let that one sink in for a minute.

Why do we mention our great white neighbor to the north? Because Canada has given us Jim Carrey, Rick Moranis, at least one member of Arcade Fire, and this week’s best case study in proactive social media PR!

Most food brands take one of two routes when confronted with tough questions about ingredients and product preparation: either change the subject or say nothing at all. Yet the Canadian branch of fast food’s reigning champ decided to do something completely different last year: listen to customers’ questions and give them all the dirt on the ginger clown with the beef-and-cheese addiction.

This isn’t just social media community managers tweeting “We’re sorry for your experience, customer X. Please email us at LikeWeCare@yahoo.com for more info!” McDC promises to answer any consumer’s question—as long as he or she connects on Twitter or Facebook first. Crafty!

So how does this project work?

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Dunkin’ Donuts Becomes First Fast Food Chain to Offer Gluten-Free Pastries

Pastry enthusiasts on gluten-free diets need no longer stare longingly across the counter at forbidden blueberry muffins while ordering their Dunkin’ Donuts coffee — soon they’ll be able to indulge in some sweet treats alongside their wheat-tolerant friends.

D&D chains will sell gluten-free cinnamon-sugar doughnuts and blueberry muffins across the U.S. this year, Stan Frankenthaler, the company’s executive chef, said in an e-mail. “We recognize the importance of providing our guests with many options, including alternative choices for people with food and dietary restrictions,” he said.

Though gluten-free certainly doesn’t necessarily mean low calorie — your waistline will still probably thank you for skipping the doughnut, gluten-free or otherwise –  this move demosntrates that the company is invested in providing its customers with options that fit their lifestyles. And because Starbucks and McDonald’s are both proving a bit slower to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon, Dunkin is poised to become a pioneer.

Not to mention the fact that it’s probably a good strategy for the brand to appear somewhat health-conscious after its recent introduction of a bacon, egg and doughnut breakfast sandwich.

PR Debate: Is McDonald’s Exploiting the Charles Ramsay Situation?

McDonald’s is giving Charles Ramsay free food for a year.

You know the situation: Charles Ramsay helped rescue three Cleveland women from the monstrous confines of kidnapper Ariel Castro, a heroic deed that landed Mr. Ramsay on national television where he instantly became famous for his candid remarks which included a reference to McDonald’s.

Since then, McDonald’s has been in the center of a public relations conundrum.

Much of the public wanted McDonald’s to step up, do the right thing, and reward Mr. Ramsay for being a hero. Many industry experts agreed that this was a golden opportunity for the Golden Arches to capitalize on free PR.

However, some of the public and industry experts strongly believe that McDonald’s should never exploit a scenario that involves the pain and suffering of fellow human beings. Leveraging this event to gain free publicity is a crass and unforgivable.

By giving Mr. Ramsay free food for a year is McDonald’s indulging in savvy or despicable public relations? Let us know what you think.

McDonald’s Egg McMuffin Brings Breakfast to the PM

The public is evolving faster now than ever, and the public relations industry needs to keep pace. With the direct and instantaneous impact of digital technology and social media, the public receives information sooner, faster and in greater volume than it did mere years ago.

The public no longer religiously consumes the evening news, deposits checks during banking hours or eats according to the same routines. We’re simply different people than we used to be. These cultural shifts impact our behavior in many important ways, especially in regard to our eating habits and schedules. Breakfast isn’t just for breakfast anymore, thanks in part to the Egg McMuffin.

If you have ever heard a friend or family member say “McDonald’s should really serve breakfast all day” it is because the Egg McMuffin owns a space in our collective idea of breakfast that no other fast food product parallels. It’s the hamburger and fries of breakfast, and now it’s going to compete with those very products during afternoons and evenings.

Regardless of your personal opinions on the Egg McMuffin’s dietary limitations or the business practices of the McDonald’s empire, the brand’s recent decision to serve breakfast all day long makes sense. It’s been a customer favorite for 40 years.

Today’s public is dynamic, fluid and open to a new, 24/7-world that is no longer defined by the regiments of time zones. Global communications have erased the psychological boundaries and physical borders that once dictated our lives, so if you can hold a conference call via Skype with your Japanese clients at 2 AM, the idea of an Egg McMuffin at 4 PM doesn’t seem odd at all. Read more

Chick-fil-A Gets Cocky about Its Kitchens

Transparency is PR gold. Transparency requires courage, honesty and humility. The public loves transparency because the public is comprised of adults who understand the inevitability of bad news and the value taking responsibility. Without transparency nothing moves forward.

So adding transparency to the customer experience is a wise PR strategy for Chick-fil-A particularly after a recent spate of controversy over the gay marriage issue. As an overture to the public, Chick-fil-A is offering customers instant behind-the-counter tours of any of its 1,700 franchises at any time. So if you have run out of ideas about where to take your next date, you’re in luck. Chick-fil-A has the utmost confidence you’ll be impressed by its dedication to clean facilities and healthy ingredients.

This PR stunt is designed to have people like us write blog posts and create buzz drawing attention to Chick-fil-A’s newest menu items, the Grilled Chicken Cool Wrap and updated salads. (So done and done. Well played Chick-fil-A.) However, Chick-fil-A may be overestimating the public’s interest in witnessing how their food is made. This isn’t foie gras. It’s fast food. Most people wouldn’t choose to work in a Chick-fil-A kitchen for money let alone spend their free time in one. Seriously, Chick-fil-A?

The public understands that our culture is changing and fast food chains need to keep up with evolving palates. Chick-fil-A has been on the winning arc of that trend, whereas burger brands such as McDonald’s and Burger King have struggled to adjust. Nevertheless, just as the public doesn’t want to see chickens slaughtered on premise as a guarantee of freshness, we really don’t want to see chicken sandwiches made either. Read more

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