September 2010
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Mc Donald's paints the town red with new outdoor campaign

A simple yet larger than life campaign in Mumbai and Bengaluru aims to pull in the crowds for McDonald's Happy Price Menu.

If you're mighty hungry and spot a huge burger on a bright red hoarding - stay calm - you're not hallucinating! It's just the latest McDonald's campaign. After a gap of seven-eight years, the fast food chain has launched a hi-blitz outdoor campaign in India.

The new campaign focuses on the 'value-for-money' proposition and for now has advertised in Mumbai and Bengaluru. The creatives are simple, highlighting single products and the respective price on a bright red background on large hoardings and other formats.

In Mumbai, about 47 billboards and 27 backlit bus shelters were taken up, while 25 touch points in Bengaluru created the required buzz. Discussing the reason behind advertising specifically in these two cities, Rameet Arora, senior director, marketing, McDonald's India (West and South), tells afaqs!, "Mumbai and Bengaluru are important centres for us, with more than 50 restaurants. Hence, the campaign, which also has national presence with television, has been extended to these centres.

"The other cities are being targeted with television, coupled with other local media such as radio. As we speak, outdoor plans are also being developed for other cities."

He shares that the insight behind the campaign was that Happy Price Menu is the brand's 'everyday affordable' menu in India and so the focus quite simply is on great food at great price every day. "Every day great value is a key proposition for McDonald's in India and around the world. It allows the brand to be easy to access for people across age groups, life stages and socio economic groups," he says.

The brief to the agency was simply to create impact and buzz. Leo Burnett is the creative agency, while the outdoor is handled by Milestone Brandcom.

Discussing the outdoor strategy, Hanoz Patel, managing partner, Milestone Brandcom, says, "Mumbai itself houses some 33 McDonald's outlets - hence the suggested approach was to announce the value for money offering to the consumers through main arterial routes. The other benefits offered in this approach created huge impact and brand imagery through its clean OOH creative - with not more than three-four elements in the creative (logo, product shot and pricing) with the rich McDonald's red."

Over the years, when it comes to outdoor advertising internationally, McDonald's has gone full throttle in terms of innovations, even winning a slew of awards for these. Its Fresh Salads, Breakfast Giant Egg and interactive LED campaigns and installations are just some of the ones that have created much buzz for the brand.

On the other hand, in the Indian market, for the most part, McDonald's has played safe with vanilla creatives. On being quizzed on the same, Arora defends the strategy, saying that there are a couple of factors that work for outdoor innovations internationally. "One is the technology infrastructure - which is coming up in India only now. It is encouraging that technology such as Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are now being made available outdoor.

"Secondly, the cost of creative execution, too, is much lower abroad. It is much cheaper to buy real estate and also cheaper to develop it, whereas in India, real estate is one of the most expensive as compared to anywhere in the world. Developing it and creating innovations cost a lot more."

He adds that unlike one-off innovations, the company does not intend to create a single installation and then create a buzz around it because that would be a PR-led campaign and not really outdoor-led. "Rather, we'd like the joy of engaging masses by using the medium at multiple touch points."

Arora is quick to add that the current 'Happy Price Menu' campaign is a first scale attempt with outdoor. It plans to launch more campaigns and more innovations - using more technology in the future.

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