McDonald's wants you to talk about the McRib more than eat it

By David Kiefaber on Wed Nov 24 2010


One drawback of being a global megabrand like McDonald's is that it's hard to get people excited about you. Consistency, it seems, breeds stagnation over time. That's why there's so much social-media focus on the McRib this time around—it stimulates conversation, so why not make that process easier for consumers? Whether or not they buy, or even like, the sandwich is irrelevant; it's less expensive than creating a new menu item, and it keeps McDonald's fresh in the minds of people who've already decided to eat out. The beauty of the McRib is that, whether people love it or think it's gross (and that's a fairly even split), it gets them talking. Plus, the McRib hasn't been on the menu since 1994, so there's an entire generation of fast-food junkies who've never had one, and some of them probably haven't even heard of it. Now, maybe if we eat enough McRibs, they'll bring back the Arch Deluxe.

San Francisco bans toys from the more unhealthy Happy Meals

By T.L. Stanley on Thu Nov 4 2010


There's good news out of San Francisco this week. The Giants won the World Series, and mayor Gavin Newsome got elected lieutenant governor. Huzzah! And there's bad news—if you're a kid, anyway: No more toys in Happy Meals! San Francisco has become the first major city in the country to ban tchotchkes in fat-, salt- and calorie-laden meals for kids. The law, which passed Tuesday but doesn't take effect until December 2011, covers all restaurants that serve kid food, but McDonald's has been especially vocal in its opposition to it. Still, city-council members passed the law by a veto-proof majority. (Newsome had threatened a veto, saying the council shouldn't interfere in commerce.) Unless someone on the council switches sides, the rule will stand, at least for now. Restaurants will only be able to dole out swag with meals that have less than 600 calories (food and drink combined), and no more than 35 percent of the calories can come from fat. Nuggets and fries don't fit that bill, but McDonald's reps continue to tout their "healthier" options like apple slices and gripe that San Fran is out of touch with mainstream (overweight) America. "We are extremely disappointed with today's decision," a McDonald's rep says. "It's not what our customers want, nor is it something they asked for." The city says it's just trying to protect its young from a fat future. What do you think? Prudent or paternal? At any rate, grab those Strawberry Shortcake dolls while you can, Bay Area kids.

Want to get married at McDonald's? Soon, you could be in luck

By T.L. Stanley on Fri Oct 15 2010


You can set up a wedding registry at the 99 Cents Only store. So, why not complete the white-trash/recession-minded circle with a wedding at McDonald's? Too bad such a thing is not in the U.S. just yet, but the fast-food restaurant will start offering wedding packages in its Hong Kong locations early next year. Ronald McDonald might even show up! (Just don't ask him to officiate. He hasn't done the Internet preacher course yet.) Reps said they started the wedding program in response to "about 10 calls a month" from people who wanted to celebrate their nuptials under the Golden Arches. Not one to let a business opportunity pass, McDonald's is setting up packages that include "cakes" made of burgers or apple pies, and French fries to be used, Lady and the Tramp style, for the happy couple's kiss. McMazel tov!

Behold the farthest spot you can get from McDonald's in the U.S.

By David Kiefaber on Tue Oct 5 2010


Stephen Von Worley of took a trip, which I'm hoping he writes off as a business expense, to a remote patch of northwest Nevada that is supposedly the farthest you can get (some 115 miles) from a McDonald's in the lower 48 states of the U.S. He located the "McFarthest Spot" with GPS technology, and found it to be an ideal camping spot (upon purchasing a box of Mickey D's, that is). He made a video (posted after the jump), and as he stomped around the godforsaken desert, I ruminated upon just how strong the McDonald's brand is, as measured by points of impact with the consumer. Not only do they have ridiculous market share and strong advertising, but you literally have to forsake civilization to find a place with no Golden Arches on the horizon. Still, Von Worley is clearly a fan, considering how many Big Macs he brought with him. He's like Walden with heart disease. Via Consumerist.

Continue reading "Behold the farthest spot you can get from McDonald's in the U.S." »

McDonald's gets inspirational with its beefy 'Angus Axioms' site

By Todd Wasserman on Fri Aug 27 2010


McDonald's wants you not only to enjoy its Angus Snack Raps, but to be inspired by them. That, at least, seems to be the thinking behind "Angus Axioms," a promotion the brand rolled out this week on Facebook. Mad Libs-style, the site asks you to enter your name, an interest and a "random adjective." The result, in my case, is above. I've never actually had an Angus Snack Rap, so I don't feel comfortable using this as a status update, but I do agree that life flavored with Swiss cheese is awesome.

McDonald's food now simply flying off the chain's delivery trucks

By Elaine Wong on Mon Aug 23 2010


Beware the giant McDonald's food flying off the restaurant chain's delivery trucks! That's right—french fries and Big Macs appear to be struggling against the wind in a new "moving billboard" campaign on delivery-truck sides. The backs of the trucks also have messages for drivers. "Whip through traffic," says one, showing McCafé shakes. Another (image after the jump) shows a container of fries and the message, "No passing." Honk! Honk! Oops, we're holding up traffic!


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Asterix's McDonald's billboard angers French comic-book geeks

By David Kiefaber on Mon Aug 23 2010


Given Asterix's recent appearance in a McDonald's ad in France, comic-book enthusiasts are asking themselves if the plucky little Gaul has sold out to American consumerism. He has, of course, but publishers Albert René are denying it just for fun. A spokesman claims that "Asterix remains a rebel," citing as proof the fact that the publishers turned down a Diet Coke spot because the product didn't "correspond to the values of the character." What elevates McDonald's in the minds of Albert René is unclear (perhaps it's the progressive, gay-friendly attitude already displayed in the French "Come as you are" campaign, of which the Asterix ad is part). But anyway, it's not worth worrying about. Asterix shilled for Mickey D's way back in 2001, so it's not like he's new to this. And France, despite its lip service to high cuisine, is a strong market for McDonald's now that the fast-food giant has regionalized its French menu (remember, they call it a Royale with cheese) and rebranded itself as less obviously American. Incorporating Asterix into the marketing is part of that process. I don't necessarily support it, but I understand it. As long as they don't do an "Asterix is gay" ad, they should be fine.

McDonald's whips up Spin Art game to promote new smoothies

By Elaine Wong on Thu Jul 22 2010


Remember Spin Art, that childhood game that let you create fantastic, colorful works of art over a spinning piece of paper? Well, McDonald's has brought back those nostalgic memories via a new application that celebrates its new Real Fruit Smoothies. The app allows users to "spin something cool" by selecting a color (or colors), choosing a brush speed and letting it loose. (All colors are inspired by the new smoothies themselves.) We spun a kaleidoscope of happy blends on ours. Tribal DDB created the app, and users can also post and share their latest streaks of creativity—and "spread the real fruit smoothie word"—on social networking sites like Facebook.

Egyptian McDonald's ad finds good use for Meat Loaf ballad

Posted on Tue Jul 6 2010

In perhaps the best use ever of the Meat Loaf song “I Would Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That),” this Egyptian ad for McDonald’s shows a glamorous couple, the male half apparently so devoted to his paramour that he’ll dive into the ocean, buy her an expensive dress and even push her car uphill. But when it comes to grabbing his fries, it’s "No way, José" or whatever the local variant is. The woman looks heartbroken at the end, but maybe she should heed the advice of another Meat Loaf song: Two out of three ain’t bad.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman

McDonald's, Budweiser help you show your U.S. soccer colors

Posted on Thu Jun 24 2010


There's no better way to celebrate yesterday's victory by the U.S. soccer team than with virtual face painting. Thanks to McDonald's, I was able to mock up my portrait in honor of Landon Donovan & Co. The effect leaves a bit to be desired. I look somewhat like a Mexican professional wrestler, but maybe you'll have better luck. You can also try out a similar app that Budweiser has launched on Facebook. And if you're one of those people who complains how boring soccer is, go Elf Yourself.

—Posted by Todd Wasserman



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