McDonald’s, Competitors Take Different Approaches to Increase U.S. Business

McDonald’s, Competitors Take Different Approaches to Increase U.S. Business
From, by Nevin Barich


It’s McDonald’s versus the world!

OK, not exactly. It’s more like McDonald’s versus other major fast-food burger chains. But both sides have taken decidedly different approaches in their advertising recently to drum up more U.S. business.

McDonald’s competitors such as Wendy’s and Carl’s Jr. continue to take the approach of coming up with items meant to target millennials, long considered to be the next major revenue stream for the foodservice industry at large and a consumer group considered to be more health conscious and focused on better-quality items.

Carl’s Jr., for example, recently launched a major ad campaign for its new All-Natural Burger, featuring a grass-fed beef patty with no added hormones, antibiotics or steroids. The company’s first major commercial for the burger highlighted all of these facts, adding the tagline “Fast food will never be the same,” implying a major shift in both product quality and consumer focus.

Meanwhile, Wendy’s is putting its marketing muscle behind its new Bacon & Blue on Brioche burger, featuring artisan blue cheese and applewood smoked bacon on a Brioche bun. The commercials position the burger on the fancy side of dining, while also putting forth the idea that eating the burger makes you better than your peers.

McDonald’s? It’s doing the complete opposite.

The company has opted to focus instead on its longtime flagship Big Mac and Quarter Pounder burgers, with marketing campaigns that seem to speak more to its current loyal customers and less toward health-conscious millennials.

Its recent “Unapologetic” Big Mac commercial is a perfect example. The 30-second spot shows the Big Mac at multiple angles, with the narrator saying the following:

All vegetarians, foodies and gastronauts: Kindly avert your eyes. You can’t get juiciness like this from soy or quinoa. This is not Greek yogurt. Nor will that ever be kale. In its lifetime, it won’t be deconstructed or infused. And while it is massive, its ego is not, and therefore needs no introduction.

When a company puts down four specific items favored by millennials in a 30-second span, it’s clearly not targeting that group. Rather, it’s part of McDonald’s plan to remove several products from its menu to streamline service and refocus on its core items in the hopes of reinvigorating its U.S. sales.

Two different approaches, both aiming for similar goals. And while we don’t know yet whether one or both approaches (or either, for that matter) will work, we know one thing already:

It makes for great commercials.

"McDonald’s, Competitors Take Different Approaches to Increase U.S. Business" originally published on The Menuism Dining Blog.

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