McDonald’s is an essential piece of Americana and one of the most iconic brands in the world. The famed golden arches are recognised by more people than the cross and even the Queen of England owns a franchise.
But its status wasn’t easy to accomplish. The McDonald’s brand has been painstakingly built for decades around its image and reputation.
From early on, founder Ray Kroc focused on the restaurant’s marketing orientation, or what the customer wants in a product, rather than selling the product itself.
McDonald’s has since “become a mastermind of marketing toward specific markets by pioneering ideas such as breakfast menus, healthier choices and alternatives, and ‘adult’ foods.”
In 2010, the restaurant spent $687 million alone in advertising, 5 per cent more than the year before, but still 16 million less than in 2008. Most of these campaigns were launched nationally via big budget TV spots.
Recently, it has updated its strategy by focusing on local providers, greener alternatives, and cleaner, more modern facilities.
Here’s a look at 12 of McDonald’s most important ad campaigns and their accompanying slogans over the past half-century.
In the 90's, McDonald's started featuring a group of kids who always hung out together in McDonald's (Food, Folks and Fun,1990)
One of the most famous Super Bowl ads in time, the commercial shows Larry Bird challenging Michael Jordan to a shooting contest for his Big Mac. Michael Jordan and Larry Bird shot a remake in 2010 (The Showdown, Michael Jordan vs Larry Bird, 1993)
This video has almost 3 million views on YouTube, and the kid dancing in the video was approached by Ellen DeGeneres and Jay Leno (I'm Lovin' It, Cha-Cha Slide, 2007)
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