| Well how's this. Now McDonalds is claiming that its local. Now, if you go to that link, you'll see the particular ad (claiming that the French fries are made from local potatoes) is located in the Seattle neighborhood of Ballard, a neighborhood I've visited. And I'd like to think that Ballard residents are smarter than that, given that they've got a kickass farmers' market, a restaurant with a roof garden, and a really awesome group called Sustainable Ballard. Sounds like a bunch of French fry eating, drive thru shopping McDonald's customers, huh?
That particular McDonald's campaign seems to be confined to a small area, but around here I've noticed an awful lot of heavy advertising. Some of it is the same old, obnoxious stuff, like a picture of an egg next to an Egg McMuffin that says "Breakfast... Out of its shell." And what's up with their ridiculous coffee ads. The ads near me say that if coffee is Joe, consider McDonald's coffee Joseph. Umm... I'd probably consider it right on par with Nescafe, which I will not drink. But then I went to Los Angeles and noticed two new trends.
First, free wifi at McDonalds. Which kind of cracks me up to imagine a businessperson in a suit sitting in plastic swivel chairs using a laptop while eating greasy fries and slurping a triple thick shake through a straw. I didn't think it would happen. Someone told me that I was wrong. I haven't set foot in a McDonalds in years, but apparently, it's a popular place to use wifi.
Second, "right-sized" meals. This is a trend that allows you to pay more (per calorie, per ounce, etc) to get a smaller portion of the same junk and then presumably feel less guilty about eating it. Of course it's still rotten for you, but you just ate less of it... and got ripped off in the process. It offers would-be health foodies a happy medium between eating no McDonalds at all and ordering a supersized double cheeseburger value meal.
Honestly, McDonald's recent marketing campaigns most reminds me of the flu's ability to adapt each year, outwitting the previous year's vaccines and all of the people who have evolved immunity to prior strains of the disease. Recently, a Jack in the Box exec told me that their target market was young adults whereas McDonald's target market is everybody, more or less from cradle to grave. Clearly, McDonald's has its eye on every single trend in the entire food industry and they are trying it all to see what works.
Thank goodness CSPI is threatening to sue them if they keep giving toys to kids (my biggest gripe about McDonalds) and even Jamba Juice is making fun of McDonalds for selling fruit smoothies (smoothies that have more calories than their cheeseburgers, by the way).