Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Desperately seeking mom

McDonald's can't do anything right and its latest PR effort to form a panel of 'global celebrity' moms and ordinary housewives smacks of desperation.

You know its desperation as rather than get a substantial panel it is selecting "nine moms" globally. Nine count them. That's one from the UK, one from the US, one from Germany and one from China with the rest from some other countries that you probably don't care about.

But in all just nine, I mean seriously what kind of panel is that?

They're not even ordinary mums, they some of the nine local contestants are celebrities like German Olympic skier Christa Kinshofer and US speed skater Bonnie Blair.

McDonald's says the panel is part of its, "ongoing commitment to connect more closely with customers".

Connect with their customers? If that's the case why did they choose a skier and a skater? These are exactly the kind of people who would never let their kids go into MacDonald's and never go in themselves.

There is no UK representative, but looking at those chosen so far its going to be someone like Sharron Davies.

What McDonald's really mean is that it’s a chance to connect with some really healthy looking former athletes who would not let the fatty unhealthy food it produces anyone near their loved ones.

The more I read of the story in Marketing this morning the more I thought it had to be a joke or a PR whiz, marketing plan drawn up on the back of a napkin. McDonald's is good at Napkin Marketing.

Like the time recently where it introduced a deli menu before pulling it, leading to the restaurant chain's chief operating officer, Mike Roberts publicly saying that he was not "overly impressed with how Toasted Deli Sandwiches have rolled out in the UK" or when it introduced its 'Sex and the City' salad campaign under the delusion that young health conscious women would be coming through its fast food doors.

Does Mcdonald's actually know who its customers are? You have to wonder.


At 12:29 PM, Anonymous The Big Burger Eater said...

I'm very glad you've raised this point about the deli sandwiches Gordon. For I am a big fan of the roast beef and horseradish sauce sandwich. But lo, it takes ages to make (why do they insist on making it fresh?) so I've only had three.

I think the idea must have been to compete with Subway on the freshness point. The whole thing with Subway is that you see your sandwich being made there and then; you're consulted on what goes in it and you don't have to 'take a seat' whilst they finish making it.

It's as if McDonalds hasn't really thought through what people are sick of with their service. The lack of proper service is one thing that grates for a start. It's not enough to just offer a deli sandwich if you can't even begin to replicate the deli environment.


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