McDonald’s and their Brilliant Coffee Marketing

I’m just like everyone else when it comes to McDonald’s: I look down my nose at it, I ask people who go there, “What the hell’s the matter with you?” and I think their Big Macs and fries are intensely yummy. I’m just as hypocritical as the average American. Yee hah!

I’ve been a fan of McDonald’s iced coffee drinks for a year or so now – “Large Sugar Free Vanilla Iced Coffee” just rolls off my tongue whenever I hit their drive through. It’s only recently, though, that I’ve caught McDonald’s advertising. They’ve probably only started the campaign now that the entire coffee line is out of beta testing.

Check this out:

McDonald’s knows that while just about everyone has gotten on board with our national coffee fetish in the last twenty years, it still has that “mystique” that turns people off. The people who enjoy that mystique are just the ones who would say, “McDonald’s iced coffee!?! Eww!” These aren’t the people McDonald’s would easily reach, so trying to convince them their coffees are just as good or better than what you’d find at Starbuck’s would be an incredibly uphill battle.

Then again, Starbuck’s makes too much money to come from just the turtleneck and poetry crowd. Average slobs like iced coffees too, and the majority of us don’t appreciate having to shell out four dollars for it.

Essentially, McDonald’s took that lemon and made lemonade – rather than try to win over the coffee elite, they turned against them, trying to attract the common coffee drinker.

And I think that is incredibly cool. They looked at the market, and determined that the most vocal portion of it is still the minority, and shouldn’t be catered to in their marketing plan. The lesson here is that the people you want to attract aren’t necessarily brand champions, but all the people who collectively represent the most cash.

Sometimes, you just need to be the choice of the lowest common denominator.

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