The Winter Olympics are underway and as the world casts its eyes on Vancouver, it’s a great opportunity for the franchising world to gain a bit of exposure.
McDonald’s has used their market leverage to purchase the position as the ‘Official Restaurant on the 2010 Games’. We’ve seen them use these huge media events to highlight their brand in the past and this Olympiad is no different. Interestingly, this time around, as Advertising Age write, McDonald’s are heavily promoting their forthcoming brand of smoothie products as well as tout their ‘quality ingredients’.
I think there is a still a consumer perception that McDonald’s is a restaurant that sells burgers and fries. Time will tell how effective these advertisements will be, but you have to admire McDonald’s aggressiveness here. They’ve employed many of the most familiar faces in winter sports and are even sponsoring a writing competition for teams of kids the world over whom they’ve sponsored to fly over to Vancouver.
Whatever your feelings on McDonald’s brand, you really have to admire the way they can control brand image. They have the seamless ability to tweak their image to gain the curiosity of new customers, while never selling short their core audience. They're an enviable franchisor in many respects.
It will be interesting to see how their line of smoothies fare this summer.