McDonald’s has for decades maintained an extensive advertising campaign; McDonald’s spend over two billion dollars each year on advertising. In addition to the usual media (television, radio, and newspaper), the company makes significant use of billboards and signage, sponsors sporting events from ranging from Little League to the Olympic Games, and makes coolers of orange drink with their logo available for local events of all kinds. Nonetheless, television has always played a central role in the company’s advertising strategy. Through the use of all these different types of Medias the company bombards their main target group: children. Many parents object strongly to the influence this has over their own children. McDonald’s argue that their advertising is no worse than anyone else’s and that they adhere to all the advertising codes in each country.
Firms like McDonalds in general tend to advertise for four reasons:
• To make consumers aware of a new product
• To remind consumers about an present product
• To persuade to stop buying from rivals
• Improve the image of a business.
Where companies like McDonalds advertise depends on three things:
• The target audience- mainly children, there ads must colorful (attractive)
• Size of the market
• Size of advertisement budget
The purpose of depends on whether the firm wants to persuade the audience or whether they want to inform the audience. Informative adverts tend to describe the product and its attributes. On the other hand persuasive adverts want induce the consumer that they should buy their product. They don’t always talk about their negative sides as it puts off the consumer from buying it.
Advertising has its advantages and disadvantages, its advantages being:
• Advertising gives people information and helps them make a choice
• Advertising subsidises newspapers and magazines, so they cost less. And it subsidises television programmes and websites, so they’re better quality.
• Advertising employs large numbers of people
• Advertising costs lots of money, so firms have to charge more for their products to pay for it.
• The opportunity cost of employing people in advertising is they could be making things.
• Because advertising is expensive, small firms find it difficult to compete.
Personally, advertising is one of the key factors that can lead a company to success, without people knowing about the company there is no chance for it to e able to make a profit and survive.
McDonalds uses a variety of advertising media, from television to transport. Television plays an important role in the advertisement of McDonalds, the television can reach millions and can be targeted at people who watch particular programmes (children being their main target- advertisement on ‘Disney channel’ and ‘Cartoon network’). Downsides of it are the fact that it is very expensive. Nevertheless, it is something that McDonalds does and has helped it in its success.
The use of the cinemas to advertise its products has also helped a great deal; they are viewed by large numbers of people, but the audience remains small compared to television.
Billboards, posters and magazines have been used a lot to advertise its products, for example:
This billboard is short and catchy and has enough of information for the driver/pedestrian to receive and comprehend. The advertisement is colorful and its logo is relatively big enough for the audience to view, although if the ‘M’ sign was bigger it would grasp hold of the audience better.
Once again we see a plain simple phrase describing something new that McDonalds has released into the market. A big burger showing the audience what the new product it is and a big enough ‘new’ sign, to persuade the audience into wanting to know what this is. These bright, attractive colors attract the audience.
Both of the billboards are tailored for different purposes, though not straying from its primary purpose of advertising. The first image advertises the company and persuading people to come to their restaurant, on the other hand the second image publicizes a new product. Either way both these images, advertise their products and themselves very well, although I would prefer the first image as it is more eye-catching and is more interesting to read.
The internet, one of the fastest growing media even though McDonalds do not advertise a great deal on the internet, they still manage to get a large audience by coming up with an online counterpart to its traditional game:
This game manages to attract a large number of people and is a device to show how healthy their way of producing their food is. It shows how they treat their employees well and how well processed their food is.
Along with the internet game comes the McDonald’s Monopoly this game advertises the promotion of McDonald’s and has been offered in various parts of the world. Once again there name is spread across the globe and a good family game. The game follows the basic rules of monopoly, except the names and the sites are different.
Using the internet is a vital way to get the audiences attention, it is quick and cheap, and as a large audience uses it, it grabs a large audience. Although pop-ups that are used may get annoying and irritating, so people won’t pay attention to those but just get frustrated over it. But the internet should be used; pop-ups must be avoided as it is less irritating to the audience.
Finally the transport sector, this is cheap but attracts people attention, especially on the roads and people walking:
The picture is big and colorful and shows their product. Getting their message across, transport is another good way to advertise, although people don’t see everything and may not get what they are advertising.
This is effective on highways and motorways as there is a vast amount of people on the road and the message they are trying to get across is promoted to many people. It is cheap but does the job very well.
McDonalds don’t tend to use a few forms of advertisement such as the radio, it is not as persuasive as when watching someone eat a burger on television. It is cheap and audiences of particular programmes can be targeted. I would recommend it but might not attract too many customers. Junk Mail, it is cheap to produce and distribute, but they are easy to ignore and people tend to think junk mail is bad ‘junk’ that is not needed.
Sponsorship is becoming increasingly important in bringing the name of a business to different customers. McDonald’s sponsors a variety of events and people, from football teams to singers.
Sponsorship plays an important role in promotion, McDonalds has a large number of deals with various people and companies-
McDonalds has been an official partner of the World Cup since the 1994 tournament in the United States. They have renewed their contract as a World Cup Sponsor until 2014.
This is a good idea as they will have all rights to serve food during the world cup, increasing their profits, also a world cup being a big event it can get their name renowned even more around the world. McDonalds are also sponsors of the Olympic Games.
In September 2003, McDonald’s announced a sponsorship deal involving the pop star Justin Timberlake. He will appear in five advertisements throughout the English-speaking world, promoting the company’s products. The company also will sponsor the singer’s world tour. Sponsoring singers are another great way of getting the name known as singers like Justin Timberlake are well- known around the world.
Sponsoring has many benefits:
• McDonalds name is spread across the globe more and more
• More of their food Is bought, lead
Disadvantages of sponsoring:
• If a calamity happens their name can be brought down as something that shouldn’t be trusted
McDonalds continues sponsoring many events and should continue to do so, as there name is spread across the globe. But McDonalds should start sponsoring local teams in small countries such as Bahrain (clubs like Muharraq, Al Ali). But moreover sponsoring more professional football clubs or international team will help attract customers at a large scale. This will help McDonalds in its promotion.
Sales promotion- There are seven main methods:
• Buy one get one free
• Competitions- have quizzes and the winners get prizes and gift vouchers.
• Use of Credit card
• Product trails- Invite people to try new products
• Point-of sale advertising- Sales are sold in special areas
• Free gifts.
McDonalds uses quite a few of the methods above for example:
• Discounts: McDonalds hold special offers at specific times and dates
• Competition: McDonalds holds draws, giving people chances to win and come to McDonalds more often.
• Free gifts along with every purchase of a happy meal, which attract a much younger target
• Also the use of credit cars.
• Buy one get one free, McDonalds have had offers where with one big burger you can get a smaller one for free, more convenient for the customers.
But McDonalds do not use the following methods:
• Point of Sale Advertising, although it can be used to promote a burger or a milkshake, it would have to be changed every so often and as it is a fast food restaurant, their menu is shown at a large scale in the restaurant.
• Product trials: McDonalds don’t see the sense it giving out free burgers; they want the consumers to buy it if they want to buy it. Although I feel they should do it as if the consumer buys the product and doesn’t like it, they would think it was a waste of money and not try new products again.
I think McDonalds should continue to use these methods of promotion as it helps their products be sold more and is a gimmick that helps them sell more of their products, which in turn means a greater sum of profit for McDonalds. Also with the use of these gimmicks, their competition will find it harder to compete with them.
Personal selling helps promote new products; this involves selling the product directly to the customers. The benefits of this are that the company earns information about what the public thinks about the product. But it is very expensive, as it requires a highly labour force. McDonalds don’t use this method as it is not appropriate for selling burgers, as by the time the customers get it, the food might be cold, which puts of the consumers from buying the product or wanting to buy anything from the company.
Public relations, it is their job to make sure any new stories about eh company is shown in a good manner, giving firms like McDonalds good publicity. This is necessary as not all publicity is good publicity which could lead to the downfall of the company. McDonalds must continue doing this as it is a matter of life and death for the company as bad publicity could lead to the demise of the company.