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Has McDonald’s raised eyebrows with its latest campaign?

Warren Linsdell Director, Media 08/02/2023

Like me, you may have rediscovered McDonald’s after having had kids. Always looking for ways to give them an occasional treat without digging too deeply into my pockets, the promise of McDonald’s seems to generate an adequate excitement to cost ratio.

If we happen to be driving into a service station, for example, they’re quick to spy the Golden Arches in anticipation of said treat (for me it tends to do the same thing after a late night at the office when I know dinner is already likely to be in the dog’s belly).

The Golden Arches are a notorious brand asset for the fast-food giant, quick to generate brand awareness even amongst children. Using data from BrandVue Eating Out, Savanta’s daily brand tracking tool, we’ve taken a look at how successful McDonald’s has been in leveraging its signature symbol in its latest advertising campaign.

The brand recently launched its ‘raising eyebrows’ campaign, making a play on the Golden Arches to convey the same promise of what was to come, but without a burger or shake in sight.

Following the launch of the campaign (Jan 13), Advertising Awareness saw an immediate spike. Shortly after, it began to slowly decline, but still remains higher than the pre-campaign levels we saw at the start of the month.

We also saw a positive link to mental availability for the brand, with ‘Top of mind awareness’ peaking after the campaign launched. The ad also succeeded in getting consumers to talk about McDonald’s, with Buzz around the brand spiking at the same time.

So, it’s safe to say McDonald’s has succeeded in utilising its distinctive brand assets in an abstract way to get people’s attention.

In a bit of a disjointed leap in this story, I was also drawn to a campaign the brand has been running in New Zealand, which again draws on distinctive brand assets in an obscure way.

Using items from its menu that people are familiar with, it repackaged them and tapped into needs that people can relate to; in this case what people instinctively want when they’ve had one too many and the pub is now closed.

The appropriateness of this particular approach may be questionable, certainly for the UK market, but you can see what they’re doing with that (reminds me of other types of late night I’ve had at the office).

McDonald’s seem to be providing some good lessons here on how to leverage brand assets through visual cues and the needs its brand can satisfy. It makes me wonder how many brands don’t really know what their distinctive assets are, what people associate with them, positively or negatively, or how they can be deployed to cut through the noise consumers are bombarded with.

Sound like something your brand needs help with? Get in touch with one of our experts, or to find out more about BrandVue Eating Out click here.

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