Bored Marketing Idea: McDonald’s French Fries

Editor’s note: I originally published this on my old blog (zacksimpson.blogspot.com). I felt like it was still relevant, and brought it over. Please note that since original publication, McDonald’s has adjusted their slogan..

McDonald’s might be the most popular of the bunch, but fast food burger operators know that the quality (and uniqueness) of their french fries will be a motivating force for repeat business.

Who has the best fries? This is a subjective debate. Some prefer McDonald’s, some prefer Burger King, some Wendy’s…etc etc.

What’s not subjective is that feeling the consumer gets when they finish off their fries while waiting at a red light in their car. Remorse. Sadness. Disappointment. Perhaps even frustration that they didn’t opt for a larger size.

But what’s that?!

A couple of fries at the bottom of the bag?! Suddenly there’s JOY and watering of the mouth, as the tongue tingles in anticipation. A little too much for a marketing idea? Psh.

McDonald’s was running an ad on several radio stations in Las Vegas (I’m assuming nationwide, too) in which a woman takes a pickle off a male consumer’s burger. The consumer then launches into a poetic reprimand in which he explains how important each ingredient is to the burger.

People get an emotional attachment to their food, and playing on the heart strings on the “bottom-of-the-bag fries” absolutely triggers an emotional response.

Anyone who has gone through the drive-through of a hamburger fast food joint knows EXACTLY what I’m referring to. It’s like finding money in your pocket that you didn’t know was there!

So with that, I present “A Haiku for Bottom-of-the-Bag Fries”.

I look with sadness,
in your empty paper home.
Joy! Three are still there!

Of course this can be adjusted, made into a song…a short commercial, etc etc.

I’m envisioning a group of young people (ages ~20) in athletic gear sitting around an outdoor basketball court. One of them is scowling while he roots around the bottom of a McDonald’s bag.

Suddenly, his face lights up and with a grin, he pulls his hand out with two fries between his fingers. His friends laugh with him while he puts them in his mouth. Cue “ba da bah bah bah…I’m lovin’ it.”

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Again, I know this is a bit dated as far as the McD’s messaging goes, but it was my most popular post on my old blog, and I still like my haiku. :)

Facebook’s Real Threat is Reddit

When Google Plus launched, there was a lot of discussion about whether Google could unseat Facebook as the reigning social network.

We all know how that’s turned out.

Then along came an app called Instagram.

If you’re among the unwashed peasants who doesn’t own an iPhone (like me), then you weren’t a part of the insane user growth on the popular image-sharing site.

When Instagram became available on Android devices in April 2012, user growth accelerated further. The current tally is somewhere in 50-60 million user range.

And Facebook came calling.

Facebook thought it smelled a challenger. Continue reading

Online Marketing in a Post-Recession World

Editor’s note: I originally published this on my old blog (zacksimpson.blogspot.com). I felt like it was still relevant, and brought it over. I’ve updated some of the copy throughout.

In our post-recession economy, it’s becoming increasingly important to seek efficient, profitable growth and adapt to changing consumer behaviors.

From a marketing standpoint, it’s unlikely that past methods will yield efficient returns on spending. The downturn has fundamentally changed consumer expectations in a lasting way.

Tricks and gimmicks are a thing of the past – replaced with an expectation of product quality and customer service.

These changes in consumer mindset will require online retailers to improve and adapt their efforts across each marketing channel, with a new focus on engagement with the consumer.

Marketers must also increase the efficiency at which they spend their budgets and leverage key technologies to earn consumer loyalty.

Continue reading

Persuasive Marketing: Using Customer Base-Value Neglect to Your Advantage

Here’s a fun fact: When given a choice, most consumers will choose a “bonus” over a “discount”, even if the discount is a better financial offer for them.

Why is that? Why do we consumers (yes, I’m a consumer too!) lean towards getting more “bang for our buck” than actually saving a buck? This seems counter-intuitive.

Well, as it turns out, we’re programmed that way.

Continue reading