Posts tagged: brand marketing

Ronald McDonald should use the power of the McBrand.

By Tara, March 30, 2010 10:52 pm
First McDonald's Restaurant

First McDonald's Restaurant

You’d be hard pressed to find a person in the US who doesn’t immediately recognize the Golden Arches and start salivating for those yummy, salty fries. McDonald’s has done an excellent job of creating the most well-known global brand and maintaining that brand image. But I think they are falling short when it comes to responding to the request for Ronald McDonald’s retirement.

According to Corporate Accountability International, the company that launched campaigns against tobacco and water bottle companies, our dear friend Ronald McDonald is to blame for childhood obesity in the United States. CAI is campaigning for McDonald’s to retire Ronald because he is a bad influence on our children.

To this criticism, a McDonald’s spokesperson told the Chicago Tribune that Ronald McDonald is “the heart and soul of Ronald McDonald House Charities, which lends a helping hand to families in their time of need. Ronald also helps deliver messages to families on many important subjects such as safety, literacy and the importance of physical activity and making balanced food choices.”

Well that’s a good start but I think that McDonald’s is missing out on a few key factors:

1. They could reinforce the fact that they offer healthy options in those coveted Happy Meals, including milk and apple slices and remind parents that they need to help their children make healthy decisions.

2. They should incorporate Ronald in their Passport to Play program, which has provided a unique physical education program to over 40,000 elementary schools in the US.

3. They could take advantage of the power of their brand and launch a simple counter campaign through Twitter (@mcdonalds has over 20,000 followers) or Facebook (McD’s has nearly two million fans).

    I expect that the team at McDonald’s is working on a more aggressive response to the call for Ronald’s retirement. After all, he has been the face of their company since 1966. He still has a few more years in him! What would you do in their (giant red) shoes?