Mickey Doh

jpeg image, McDonalds museum (Ray Kroc's first...

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I saw this morning that McDonald’s is changing the packaging of their products.  They’re using the outside of their “clamshells” in a different way – placing photographs and graphics of their food and ingredients, as well as playful stories and information about the products on the boxes of burgers, fish sandwiches, etc.

One could wonder why Mickey D feels the need to do this with a consumer who has already bought the product.  I supposed one could make the case that their share of mind and approval among homeless people will go up substantially as these product messages are read while being rummaged, but I’m not sure that’s what they have in mind.  No, according to their CMO…

“We are putting the focus on our food,” she said at a media event in Chicago. “This new packaging will actually help us reintroduce our iconic products to our customers and showcase new food.”

Have any of you ever opened a McDonald’s box and had what you find inside look as good as the product pictured on the wall photo?  Why add insult to injury by putting a gorgeous product shot in our hands so we can rip open the container to find something hastily prepared by a 17 year old in between texts to the boyfriend?

So here’s my idea:  use the packages to educate and inform your customers but NOT about your food.  Instead, how about posting the different candidate’s views on key issues like health care?  You can hire a neutral party like Fact Check to write them for you.  Suddenly, we have politicians’ worst nightmare – an informed electorate!  I know this only works for national campaigns since you don’t want to print boxes for every state or county in the US but once every four years, why not?  In the interim, how about something on the change to digital TV for the next few months?  I’m sure the smart folks at McDonald’s can come up with a list of a hundred meaningful things.  Heck, even something about how proper tire inflation saves energy would be great (lots of folks at those drive-throughs).

I’d file this one under missed public service opportunities.  McDonald’s is a leader in that area – Ronald McDonald House is a fabulous program – and this might have been a way to extend that leadership.

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