McDonald’s: A Look At Brand Marketing

A winner in the inaugural Effie Effectiveness Index outlines the Real Fruit Smoothie campaign
Staff Writer

Photo Sasabune Omakase Modified: Flickr/erin/CC 4.0

McDonald’s earned the title of “Most Effective Brand” in the inaugural Effie Effectiveness Index, which ranks brands by measuring the results of 40 worldwide marketing and advertising competitions held by Effie Worldwide, a consortium of advertising firms and marketing research organizations.

The largest restaurant chain was cited for its award winning campaigns like “Angus Axioms,” which touted its Angus Snack Wraps, and the campaign introducing McDonald’s Real Fruit Smoothies.

Warc, an industry research firm, joined Effie Worldwide in releasing the marketing study. After tracking all worldwide Effie competitions that rate advertising campaigns, the two groups named McDonald’s as having the most campaigns that drove business results between June 2010 and June 2011.

Oak Brook, Ill.-based McDonald’s, which operates or franchises nearly 33,000 restaurants worldwide, won a total of 17 advertising awards across the 40 competitions in 2011.

According to McDonald’s official competition entry on Effie Worldwide’s website, the chain’s Real Fruit Smoothie campaign, including TV, radio, print, digital and billboard advertising, along with free sampling efforts and coupons distributed in Sunday newspapers, drove results that exceeded McDonald’s goals for awareness and sales.

The $40 million national campaign took McDonald’s market share of the smoothie category from zero to 20.1 percent by the end of August 2010, four times the company’s original goal of 5 percent market share, the entry said.

“The company is blowing away the high-end projections we had for smoothie sales,” said McDonald’s president and chief operating officer Don Thompson, in the official entry.

McDonald’s had hoped for a 70-percent awareness level in consumer surveys six months after the Real Fruit Smoothie launch but achieved 86 percent after one month, McDonald’s said. The brand aimed for a 7-percent level of consumers trying the product at the six-month mark but hit 11 percent after just one month.

Results exceeded expectations so much that McDonald’s had to cancel a national coupon insert and sampling event, the company said.

Other restaurant companies to win Effie North America awards for 2011 included Starbucks Coffee, which took a bronze medal in the Brand Experience category for its “Sparks” campaign, and Taco Bell, whose Drive-Thru Diet menu and accompanying campaign brought home a bronze medal for the Shopper Marketing category.

— Mark Brandau

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