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Three Lessons From McDonald's: #Winner in the Face of Adversity

When McDonald's is faced with adversity, it fights back. Hard. Take a glimpse at its history and you'll find key learnings that we can apply to our clients and brands. McDonald's struggles date back to the 1970s when it began to endure criticism for its environmental policies. Seeing the need to keep a favorable public opinion, the golden-arched giant began to implement packaging reduction efforts. Today, it uses 25 grams of packaging for a Big Mac, fries and drink; in the 1970s, it was 46 grams. Do the math and that's a 46 percent reduction. Lesson #1: Listen To and Evolve with Customers ' Over the years, McDonald's has listened and adapted to its customers' demands. We need to do the same on behalf of our clients and brands. With social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, it's easier than ever to listen and engage our customers. By closely monitoring customer, industry and environmental trends, we'll stay ahead of the curve and enable ourselves to become early adapters. When movies Super Size Me (2004) and Fast Food Nation (2006) slammed McDonald's ' and fast-food restaurants across the nation faced mounting pressure from the FDA to clean up their menus ' McDonald's revitalized its menu. It faded out Super Sized french fries and soft drinks, and began to offer healthier food options. McDonald's then embarked on a full-scale advertising campaign to tout its healthier menu ' reaching mainstream consumers via TV and billboards. In 2010, McDonald's launched an extensive Global Best of Green marketing campaign to emphasize its green-friendly procedures, creating a website and consumer and media-facing full report about its efforts ' which includes an Energy All-Stars program that rewards McDonald's managers in US locations for finding ways to conserve energy, to its implementation of new recycling methods for cooking oil, among other tactics. Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid To Publicize Good Work ' Clearly, McDonald's is not afraid to show off its corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives throughout the years ' whether through reports, media outreach or full-scale advertising campaigns. If your client or brand is undertaking CR initiatives or supporting a special cause, make sure you tell it to the world through effective communications. Otherwise, no one will know. Today, McDonald's is continuing to battle issues, such as public disdain for its direct advertising to children via Happy Meal toys and its reincarnation of Ronald the clown. Luckily for McDonald's, it has a blog entitled 'Values in Practice'? that features information about its corporate responsibility initiatives, including its Global Marketing Guidelines for communicating responsibly to children. Lesson #3: Tell Your Story or Someone Else Will ' When facing communications crises you have two choices: 1) you can ignore the conversations and hope they go away or 2) you can tell your side of the story. McDonald's chose the latter through its blog. After all, if it doesn't tell its story, someone else will. Blogs are a useful tool for your client or brand to speak to the world with a megaphone and provide real-time responses to criticism, as well as promote corporate responsibility initiatives. Why not take advantage of such a great tool? As you can see from this brief glimpse into McDonald's history, ongoing attacks have plagued the fast-food giant, but so have smart communications and business decisions. We can learn from McDonald's and take these lessons back Pharmacy cialis to our everyday work with our clients and brands. #Win Check out our public relations service for more info.

  • 3 min read
  • April 26, 2011

Three Lessons From McDonald's: #Winner in the Face of Adversity

When McDonald's is faced with adversity, it fights back. Hard. Take a glimpse at its history and you'll find key learnings that we can apply to our clients and brands. McDonald's struggles date back to the 1970s when it began to endure criticism for its environmental policies. Seeing the need to keep a favorable public opinion, the golden-arched giant began to implement packaging reduction efforts. Today, it uses 25 grams of packaging for a Big Mac, fries and drink; in the 1970s, it was 46 grams. Do the math and that's a 46 percent reduction. Lesson #1: Listen To and Evolve with Customers ' Over the years, McDonald's has listened and adapted to its customers' demands. We need to do the same on behalf of our clients and brands. With social media tools such as Facebook and Twitter, it's easier than ever to listen and engage our customers. By closely monitoring customer, industry and environmental trends, we'll stay ahead of the curve and enable ourselves to become early adapters. When movies Super Size Me (2004) and Fast Food Nation (2006) slammed McDonald's ' and fast-food restaurants across the nation faced mounting pressure from the FDA to clean up their menus ' McDonald's revitalized its menu. It faded out Super Sized french fries and soft drinks, and began to offer healthier food options. McDonald's then embarked on a full-scale advertising campaign to tout its healthier menu ' reaching mainstream consumers via TV and billboards. In 2010, McDonald's launched an extensive Global Best of Green marketing campaign to emphasize its green-friendly procedures, creating a website and consumer and media-facing full report about its efforts ' which includes an Energy All-Stars program that rewards McDonald's managers in US locations for finding ways to conserve energy, to its implementation of new recycling methods for cooking oil, among other tactics. Lesson #2: Don't Be Afraid To Publicize Good Work ' Clearly, McDonald's is not afraid to show off its corporate responsibility (CR) initiatives throughout the years ' whether through reports, media outreach or full-scale advertising campaigns. If your client or brand is undertaking CR initiatives or supporting a special cause, make sure you tell it to the world through effective communications. Otherwise, no one will know. Today, McDonald's is continuing to battle issues, such as public disdain for its direct advertising to children via Happy Meal toys and its reincarnation of Ronald the clown. Luckily for McDonald's, it has a blog entitled 'Values in Practice'? that features information about its corporate responsibility initiatives, including its Global Marketing Guidelines for communicating responsibly to children. Lesson #3: Tell Your Story or Someone Else Will ' When facing communications crises you have two choices: 1) you can ignore the conversations and hope they go away or 2) you can tell your side of the story. McDonald's chose the latter through its blog. After all, if it doesn't tell its story, someone else will. Blogs are a useful tool for your client or brand to speak to the world with a megaphone and provide real-time responses to criticism, as well as promote corporate responsibility initiatives. Why not take advantage of such a great tool? As you can see from this brief glimpse into McDonald's history, ongoing attacks have plagued the fast-food giant, but so have smart communications and business decisions. We can learn from McDonald's and take these lessons back Pharmacy cialis to our everyday work with our clients and brands. #Win

What Marketers can Learn from Livin' the Sheen

AUTHORS' NOTE: AMP Agency does not condone making fun of someone potentially struggling with drug-related issues and/or mental health challenges, the media's irresponsible coverage and promotion of someone who is struggling with drug-related issues and/or mental health challenges, or the movie Major League II. Please, stop me if you've heard this one: 'I am on a drug, and it's called Charlie Sheen!'? This is one of many seemingly-mad rants of Carlos Estevez (d.b.a. 'Charlie Sheen'?), who within the past week has launched a one-man cross-media assault (radio, TV, social, print) on pop culture. He hit one million followers on Twitter within about a day. Since January, Google searches for 'Charlie Sheen'? have increased tenfold. It's safe to say these aren't just Two and a Half Men fans, either. While these Busey-ian quotes may seem completely devoid of any logic, reasoning or mental stability, there are some marketing-relevant applications to them, if you listen closely. After the past week, we've uncovered the following five key lessons for marketers: 1.) Pick One Brand Message, and Stick With It ' Sheen has recently unveiled his one-word personal tag-line, 'winning,'? and he hasn't strayed much off message. When asked if he was bipolar, Sheen promptly quipped back with, 'Wow. What does that even mean? '?¦I'm bi-winning. I win here and I win there, now what?'? Think of brands that you've seen that switch their brand message multiple times per year, or have multiple creative campaigns in market at the same time. It's hard to grow a brand that way. 2.) Think Holistically ' Keeping with the 'win'? theme, Charlie has promised, 'I'm going to win at every moment.'? For shopper marketing folks, this is the golden rule. There are numerous opportunities to influence consumer buying decisions along the 'path to purchase,'? and a holistic mindset helps you win at every consideration point along the way. 3.) A Unique Voice Rises Above All ' Every agency stresses the importance of 'breaking through the clutter'?, but very few brands are able to actually do that. Is it risky? Absolutely. But can it be effective? Yes. Look no further than any one of Sheen's several hundred grandiose quotes from the past few days. They are far more memorable than most PR-vetted answers and statements from an embattled celebrity. You could even argue that Sheen's quotes are so plentiful and so cutting that they have created an entirely new level of Sheen-clutter, where it's actually laborious to sort through the crazy. A few that specifically come to mind are: a. I've got tiger blood and Adonis DNA b. Imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists. c. 'I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total freaking rock star from Mars'? d. Touch my children and I will eat your hands off your arms Clearly, we would never recommend that a brand speak about eating human hands off of arms. Though you do have to admit that in the world of celebrity pop culture, you've probably overheard people say 'I am on a drug, and it's called Charlie Sheen!'? more than any other celebrity quote in the past week. 4.) Plan Better ' On Thursday, he unveiled his latest Sheen-ism 'Ready for my next fastball, world? PLAN BETTER Applies to everything where an excuse now sits. Try it. U won't be wrong. Ever. #PlanBetter'? Seems pretty straightforward. Why didn't any of us think of that first? 5.) Be Prepared ' "I'm sorry man, but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time - and this includes naps - I'm an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground." EVEN DURING NAPS, this guy is on fire. Good social media lesson here, that while customer service hours are traditionally some iteration of 9-5, social channels are always on and brands need to be prepared to resolve problems at any time. Don't get caught napping. Unless, like Chuck, you're an F-18 while doing it.

What Marketers can Learn from Livin' the Sheen

AUTHORS' NOTE: AMP Agency does not condone making fun of someone potentially struggling with drug-related issues and/or mental health challenges, the media's irresponsible coverage and promotion of someone who is struggling with drug-related issues and/or mental health challenges, or the movie Major League II. Please, stop me if you've heard this one: 'I am on a drug, and it's called Charlie Sheen!'? This is one of many seemingly-mad rants of Carlos Estevez (d.b.a. 'Charlie Sheen'?), who within the past week has launched a one-man cross-media assault (radio, TV, social, print) on pop culture. He hit one million followers on Twitter within about a day. Since January, Google searches for 'Charlie Sheen'? have increased tenfold. It's safe to say these aren't just Two and a Half Men fans, either. While these Busey-ian quotes may seem completely devoid of any logic, reasoning or mental stability, there are some marketing-relevant applications to them, if you listen closely. After the past week, we've uncovered the following five key lessons for marketers: 1.) Pick One Brand Message, and Stick With It ' Sheen has recently unveiled his one-word personal tag-line, 'winning,'? and he hasn't strayed much off message. When asked if he was bipolar, Sheen promptly quipped back with, 'Wow. What does that even mean? '?¦I'm bi-winning. I win here and I win there, now what?'? Think of brands that you've seen that switch their brand message multiple times per year, or have multiple creative campaigns in market at the same time. It's hard to grow a brand that way. 2.) Think Holistically ' Keeping with the 'win'? theme, Charlie has promised, 'I'm going to win at every moment.'? For shopper marketing folks, this is the golden rule. There are numerous opportunities to influence consumer buying decisions along the 'path to purchase,'? and a holistic mindset helps you win at every consideration point along the way. 3.) A Unique Voice Rises Above All ' Every agency stresses the importance of 'breaking through the clutter'?, but very few brands are able to actually do that. Is it risky? Absolutely. But can it be effective? Yes. Look no further than any one of Sheen's several hundred grandiose quotes from the past few days. They are far more memorable than most PR-vetted answers and statements from an embattled celebrity. You could even argue that Sheen's quotes are so plentiful and so cutting that they have created an entirely new level of Sheen-clutter, where it's actually laborious to sort through the crazy. A few that specifically come to mind are: a. I've got tiger blood and Adonis DNA b. Imagine what I would have done with my fire-breathing fists. c. 'I'm tired of pretending like I'm not bitching, a total freaking rock star from Mars'? d. Touch my children and I will eat your hands off your arms Clearly, we would never recommend that a brand speak about eating human hands off of arms. Though you do have to admit that in the world of celebrity pop culture, you've probably overheard people say 'I am on a drug, and it's called Charlie Sheen!'? more than any other celebrity quote in the past week. 4.) Plan Better ' On Thursday, he unveiled his latest Sheen-ism 'Ready for my next fastball, world? PLAN BETTER Applies to everything where an excuse now sits. Try it. U won't be wrong. Ever. #PlanBetter'? Seems pretty straightforward. Why didn't any of us think of that first? 5.) Be Prepared ' "I'm sorry man, but I've got magic. I've got poetry in my fingertips. Most of the time - and this includes naps - I'm an F-18, bro. And I will destroy you in the air. I will deploy my ordinance to the ground." EVEN DURING NAPS, this guy is on fire. Good social media lesson here, that while customer service hours are traditionally some iteration of 9-5, social channels are always on and brands need to be prepared to resolve problems at any time. Don't get caught napping. Unless, like Chuck, you're an F-18 while doing it.

5 Lessons for Marketers from Lost's Last Lines

Guest Authored by Seth Berman, Marketing Director, Blue Shield California The last time I watched Lost was Season 1, but the urge to indulge in this television event was too strong to resist. My low-investment approach turned out to be a great move: the ending made sense, and I wasn't left looking for a bigger payoff. Not only that, but it turns out the 45 minutes of commercials weren't the only place I found some marketing lessons. In the wise words of the Oceanic 815 gang, here are some parting thoughts. Hurley to Ben: I could really use someone with like, experience. When you're considering diving into a new channel, like social media, or a new tactic, like re-targeting, start by talking to people with experience. Attend free webinars, find relevant Twitter feeds to follow, tap into existing and potential agencies, and ask questions on LinkedIn. There are plenty of marketers out there willing to share their experiences, many of them free of charge. Lapidus: It ain't pretty, but it's gonna work. As a direct marketer, creative is one of many variables, and often secondary to targeting, placement, offer, timing, and campaign execution. Trust your experience and the data, and design tests to measure the impact of multiple variables at a time. Most importantly, consider building an agile process that facilitates frequent, low-investment tests that don't require you to get it exactly right every time. Kate to Jack: You haven't ruined anything. Nothing's irreversible. And even if it doesn't work, you'll get another shot. It's great to take a big swing once in a while, but a series of smaller risks will add up to big wins too. Balance your approach to build your reputation as a calculated risk taker that can calculate results. Kate to Sawyer: Guess I'll have to resist the urge to follow you anyway. As brands rush into social media, your CMO may be asking you what your brand should do. The first thing to do is to refer to your brand's mission, and your company's sales and marketing objectives. With that as context, consider how social media could help you deliver on your brand's mission and objectives. If it's not obvious, social media may not be one of the most important things for you to focus on today, but the good news is'?¦ Kate to Jack: I'll be waiting for you there'?¦ once you're ready. As long as you're monitoring social media conversations, you'll know exactly when it's time to establish a presence because your customers will tell you. Some of the best social media case studies I've seen recently (DirecTV, TurboTax, Taco Bell) have one thing in common: their customers were talking about them before they arrived.

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