communication is essential to business making and it involves more than the ability to name your product, write a tag line or a press release. It's an intricate, rational and scalable effort and, let's face it, not anyone can do it.


The joke that good food becomes in times of crisis

I live next to a McD restaurant and sometimes at night when I cannot sleep, I drop by to grab some fries which are my overt food sin. Lately I have been unable to get my fries in less than 15 minutes because the queues at the drive in are humongous. In the restaurant too. That's because after hitting the neighborhood with 2 for 10 lei offer (that's approx 2.5 euros for 2 burgers) McD has literally stolen the market with full Menus for just 10 lei.

As you know, Romania is in deep financial crisis. So deep the government is scrambling to raise taxes from anywhere they can to keep up the country. This affects McD in two ways, firstly because you'd expect people to not go to McD's which, a while back was a neat place to take your family for a celebratory Sunday. And second, because the government also decided to tax fast foods under the hypocritical excuse that Romanians are getting fat. Yeah, it's a crisis dumbasses: we're definitely NOT getting fat.

At any rate, McD's has once more proven its marketing acumen by turning the situation around with the two hit offers. They are positioned as "a full meal for only 10 lei" so basically what they are doing is saying that you can replace one of your daily meals with a McD Menu for a meanial price. And it worked. First, people assumed that they will beat the crisis if they eat this cheap cheap fast food. Second, people will get offended if the government taxes this cheap cheap means and makes it less available. Good job McD!

What is exceptionally striking about this also is how fast McD dropped the Health card which they played on all through 2008 before September. Gone are the huge OOH posters with fresh salad. McDs does TV now with "eat all you need for 10 lei" messages. Nobody's asking nutritionists anymore: because if we did they would tell us to eat healthy fresh food, which costs more than 10 lei to make. The age of the probiotic is dead. When the choice is something to eat versus nothing to eat, you go for something. It really does not matter if it's actual ...well, food.

image from here. Thank you.


Oxygen said...

La americani au inceput cu genul asta de promovare inca de anul trecut si ma gandeam daca o sa faca si la noi asa ceva. McD mi se pare una dintre cele mai tari companii cand vine vorba de marketing.

Pe de alta parte e si un exemplu bun pentru guvern: scazi taxele (pretul la meniu) cresti colectarea (vanzarile).

Anonymous said...

For years Mickey D was totally unrelated to the Romanian market. MD was perceived as a upper market ... restaurant where kids our youngsters could get a rare treat at the end of the week. They had neat, clean locations and prices were 2x-3x what one would pay for the same food elsewhere. No wonder people used to dress up in order to visit MD. This is why the average chump used to take his fast food from the cheap, shitty kebab/shawarma ... place.

Now, the shitty fast food got very pricey, being 2x-3x what you would pay in other countries for the same stuff.

It make perfect sense for MD to cut their price to half and position itself as the place you can get your meal for half the price you would pay at a cheap restaurant or by ordering in.

The great wonder is why the hell didn't they do this long time ago. Maybe the upscale thing worked good enough for them until now.

Plus, the whole healthy - fresh - let's put some salad in the chemical stuff - thing was just a PR/image stunt done because the market used to eat it up easily. Everyone would be happy if they kept their prices low and kept the totally radioactive ingredients out of the recipes.

Paula said...

Your article is sending my straight to McD to get myself a McChicken menu. :D

But to get back on topic, I ask myself, why doesn't KFC take any measures related to the crisis? There food is as expensive as ever. And many times, I happened to find their restaurant pretty empty...

Bogdana Butnar said...

@Paula, gotta ask myself the same thing :D but, in other news, fun fact about KFC, they art part shareholders of the largest american private prisons :D fun, huh?