In bed with McDonalds: a parody email

strategy meetingHey Claudia,

How’s uni/work/life? How about a catch-up during Easter. Going anywhere?

I need your advice! Below is an internal strategy email. The solution is borderline incredulous… a little bit lah-lah land. Would be a GODSEND! Let me know your thoughts!

We need to grow. Subways has overtaken us as the world’s largest fast food chain. (SRC)

Growth needs to be fast. It takes us five years to scout store locations, gain planning approvals and build; our competitor requires only a few months.

Expansion through store locations is not the answer. Expansion through our current customers is. “Season ticketholders” visit our store weekly. “Fair-weather fans” visit us 1.3 times monthly and make up 55% of our business. (SRC)

The problem is (as you all know):

Supersize Me and Fast Food Nation highlighted issues with our food and corporate practices.

People interpreted our silence about these accusations as guilt.

We began a myth-busting campaign a few years ago. We even attempted to hijack the fresh, local, seasonal movement in the United States.

Yet negative perceptions continue to colour our brand.

  • News coverage continues to be barbed and cynical. No matter what we feed them, they always mention McJobs or the obesity issue.
  • Evidence of consumer sentiment can be seen in their highjacking of the hashtag #McDstories

Our opportunity lies in increasing sales to fair-weather fans by continuing to dispel negative perceptions about our food.

We need to tell our story, yet without the newspapers or consumer social channels.


George from Planning floated an idea of creating an advertisement in the style of a reality program to encase our new brand messages. He seemed to think it was vital that the advertisement be perceived as a “real” documentary. He believes an aura of “factual” will help overcome barriers.

I told him he was dreaming.

What network would be crazy enough to air a one hour advertisement for our company?


Cheryl-Ann Jones
Senior Marketing | Innovation
McDonalds Australia

McDonald’s “Gets Grilled” airs on Channel Seven tonight at 9.30pm. The program was funded by McDonalds and they admitted they were involved in the editing process. CRAPTASTIC!

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