McDonalds: IDIOCRACY in Marketing

IDIOCRACY, the movie

So, in my monthly NO B.S. Marketing letter I learn many things…

things that make me (and more importantly, my clients)  lots of money…

things that I could use to set myself apart from any of my “competitors” – if I were to acknowledge that I had any – which I would never do.  (LOL)

And, because my marketing mentor writes this newsletter with wit, biting sarcasm, and hilariously dry humor, I also get to laugh (a lot) while I learn…. This month, I got a SUPER-SIZED laugh at the total ignorance of the McDonald’s marketing crew when I learned that they decided  to pay FARMVILLE (that game people play on Facebook) real money to be an official corporate advertiser.  More on that stupidity later… BUT first….

Did you know that aside from wasting hours a day on this social media game FARMVILLE, that people (real people) spend money (real money) to buy and run (FAKE) farms… feed and raise (FAKE) livestock, and then gather at (FAKE) markets? And not just a few people…. but 18 MILLION people pretending to farm for at least 15-REAL-minutes each day.  If this doesn’t BLOW YOU AWAY, perhaps you have a lot less on your proverbial plate than I do….  If you are one of those 18-million people, save your hate mail and throw some pretend rotten tomatoes at me instead! =)

So, back to the pitiable marketing department over at the McDonald’s corporate office.  They pay money to have an Old McDonald’s Farm day … where these 18-million fake-farmers can play to win FAKE hot air-balloons, trucks and the like that are branded with the REAL McDonald’s logo.    The numbers (18-million people) are certainly impressive… So, Why is this so far off-base?

  1. Because nothing about this little marketing gimmick even HINTS at possibly bringing in a REAL customer into a REAL store.
  2. Because BRANDING – if you’d throw that often costly and mis-used word at me – or BRAND AWARENESS is something that McDonald’s does not need.  I mean, how many burger-eaters are not painfully aware of the McDonald’s on every corner?
  3. Because there is no way to measure it’s – this marketing investment’s-  effectiveness.

As Dan Kennedy suggested, perhaps they could have had people pretend to farm in an effort to earn a REAL coupon for a free BIG MAC or 6-PC NuGGETS… something like that – something geared towards getting these pseudo-farmers into a real store to spend real money – THAT would have turned this act of stupidity around…

Alas, the marketing geniuses over at McDonald’s (most likely “gurus” who have never had their own business… never spent marketing dollars of their own… and never had their own skin in the game so to speak)  are probably congratulating themselves on the “creativity” of this painfully ignorant display of corporate marketing at it’s worst.  And as Dan says,

As long as nobody asks to see how many Big Macs were sold that wouldn’t otherwise have been sold, everything’s hunky dory.”

Hunky dory indeed.  For the rest of us… let’s make sure we INSIST on accurately measuring the RETURN on the money and time we spend building our businesses.  If it can’t be measured… don’t do it!

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  1. says

    That was an excellent article. I understand where you are coming from. If each of the Marketing Department employees had to ante up for marketing they would spend their dollars very carefully. This is why you have to be CERTAIN that YOUR marketing Guru or Team understands that their HAS to be value in their marketing campaigns. Nobody has money to throw away.

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