No Mickey Mousing Around at McDonald's
Topic Introduction to Marketing
Key Words Strategic Alliances, Partnerships, Co-marketing, Promotional Strategy
InfoTrac Reference CJ117300644
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News Story 

After surviving a string of marketing blunders ranging from lackluster Disney tie-ins to a disastrous endorsement deal with defrocked NBA darling Kobe Bryant, McDonald's is truly lovin' it once again. Sales are up at the burger mega-franchise, and new marketing strategies are starting to excite company executives and shareholders alike.

McDonald's appears to be gaining new momentum now that the company's 10-year albatross deal with Disney is nearly over. Endorsements from NBA hero Yao Ming, along with slick new packaging featuring U.S. Olympic hopefuls Mia Hamm and Venus Williams, give the impression that McDonald's is back in the driver's seat after some shaky performances. New menu items such as Premium Salads and the popular McGriddles breakfast sandwiches are appealing to a younger generation--even weight-conscious consumers are being wooed back.

Can the outlook get any better for the world's premier burger giant? Recent headlines report that McDonald's will install DVD rental machines in restaurants, and unveil a huge giveaway promotion, offering free music with Big Macs through Sony's new online Connect program. If successful, the DVD kiosks will make McDonald's the first fast food chain to offer DVD rentals, and the Sony deal will allow the company to give away 500,000 free pop songs--just in time for summer tours featuring pop stars Justin Timberlake and Ashanti.

(JuLy, 2004)

Questions
1.

Do you think new partnerships between McDonald's, Sony, the NBA, and the Olympics are positive developments for the burger giant's overall marketing strategy? Explain your answer.

Source Jim Kirk, "Might McDonald's find more magic outside Disney?" Knight Ridder/Tribune News Service, May 27, 2004 pK0402.
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