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McDonald's versus Coronavirus
Episode 98th June 2020 • The Total Experience Podcast • Tribal London
00:00:00 00:25:49

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Every day, McDonald's makes 40+ million Big Macs worldwide. How does the brand stay coherent in the face of a global pandemic and other enormous challenges?

In this episode:

We're joined by George Strakhov, Head of strategy EMEA for DDB, and Steve Griffiths, Chief Digital Officer for DDB Europe, both of whom work with McDonald's across 40+ markets.

The scale of the McDonald's business

  • A dynamic and complex business
  • Product and experience
  • Diversity of touchpoints
  • Geographical diversity
  • Menu diversity
  • Segment diversity
  • Guest counts and sales
  • Speed of the feedback loop

DDB and McDonald's

  • From advertising to strategic planning and tactical activation
  • Market to market activation
  • Digital transformation
  • Focus on convenience - experience, accuracy and efficiency
  • Optimising process in a process driven company
  • Changing consumer tastes and experience
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Creating interconnected, intelligent touchpoints
  • Preference and transactional data
  • Loyalty and longitudinal data
  • Data driven marketing, analytics and experience design
  • Creating a coherent brand experience

Maximising the interaction

  • The balance between delivering the most value for customer and business
  • Short term (activation) vs long term drivers (brand)
  • Constantly adapting to circumstance - a very responsive business

McDonald's and the Coronavirus crisis

  • Restaurant closures
  • Cautious reopening
  • Focus on crew
  • The perils of getting it wrong
  • A return to the foundational elements of the business
  • People needing the basics more than ever - Quality, Service, Cleanliness
  • The 'bubble of happy'
  • Producing 40 million Big Macs all the same
  • Switch to drive thru, changes to menu, delivery changes, dark kitchens
  • The benefits of being a 'known quantity'

Creating intergenerational connections

  • Happy Meals and birthday parties
  • No longer a family mealtime
  • Screen distractions
  • Matching the brand with the next generation

Innovation and brand experience

  • Entrepreneurship vs innovation
  • Bazaars vs cathedrals
  • The difficulties of tech mediated brand experience
  • A gap that needs closing
  • Giving franchisees and restaurant managers the capacity