I read with interest an article in this issue of Ad News which talks about McDonalds and their relationship with their agency DDB. What interested me most was the approach of previous Marketing Director Don Workman in how his budget was allocated.
The article states that all McDonalds wanted from DDB was good creative. Don is quoted as saying that McDonalds spends approx $85 million a year on advertising and that 90% of this goes on television, thus they don’t want their agency to focus on anything else.
Now I know that McDonalds is a large corporate and that TV has to play a large role for them and their audiences, but surely leaving 10% for all other mediums is a little disproportionate? Online spend alone is now estimated to be accounting for 10-15% of budget with most companies and evidence shows that those targeting the youth market spend even higher amounts in this area given the huge online consumption by youth.
Surely there is a big opportunity for McDonalds to really engage with kids online – something they really haven’t leveraged here in Australia. Yes they have a corporate website that looks kind of funky (and totally unfriendly to search engines!) but nothing I have found is tailored to what kids would want. In this day and age it doesn’t have to be about junk food either. McDonalds have steered away from that approach which has given them more freedom in becoming a brand for kids in all senses of the term. So come on Maccas, if you want to stay as a super brand, you need to really engage, not just broadcast.