McDonald's Restaurants : advertising & marketing profile

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The McDonald's brand is almost as universal as Coke. The group's 36,000th restaurant opened in 2014, and those golden arches now spread across 119 countries, welcoming some 69m customers every day. Not enough, the company still says. On any day McDonald's still only serves less than 1% of the world population, leaving plenty of room for growth. However profits fell dramatically in 2002 and the group took unprecedented steps to close under-performing outlets, even pulling out of a few markets altogether. That move appeared to have paid off by 2004, and McDonald's reported strong growth for much of the following decade, even in the face of an economic downturn. A key factor was the broadening of the menu with an enhanced range of breakfast items, healthier chicken and salad meals and premium beverages. The company also pushed aggressively into the coffee shop sector, in several key international markets as well as the US. However the reviving US economy brought fresh challenges from 2013 onwards. Domestic sales suddenly stalled, despite a frenetic burst of menu innovation, as customers moved away to less established rivals, while international performance was dented by a variety of different challenges in regional markets. Even after several changes of management, those troubles have yet to be fully resolved.

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Who are the competitors of McDonald's? See Restaurants & Bars for other companies. Also see Global Brands

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Recent stories from Adbrands Weekly Update:

Adbrands Weekly Update 8th Mar 2018: McDonald's promoted UK chief marketing officer Alistair Macrow to a new role as CMO, high growth markets. These are eight important countries including China, Italy, Poland, Russia, South Korea and Spain. Emily Somers, VP, marketing & food development, becomes top marketer in the UK.

Adbrands Weekly Update 1st Feb 2018: McDonald's turnaround is holding firm. The fast-feeder reported a strong final quarter, with global comparable sales up 5.5% including 4.5% in the US. Systemwide sales were up 8% in constant currencies. Those figures were all better than expected, though reported revenues were down as a result of continuing sales of outlets to franchisees, and net income was dented by a tax adjustment. For the year, net income rose 11% (despite the final quarter adjustment) to $5.2bn, while operating income was up by 23%. Revenues slipped to $22.8bn reflecting refranchising.

Adbrands Weekly Update 2nd Nov 2017: Another week, another big media review. McDonald's called its first global review since the early 2000s. Main incumbent OMD is defending the $2bn account and is expected to retain much of the business, especially key US and European markets. However, unusually, the fast-food giant is leaning towards assembling a patchwork of best-in-class agencies in individual markets rather than a single global network. "The goal of this is really not to drive down agency fees," said McD's media chief David Rupczynski. "The goal of this is to find what is the most efficient way to reach the consumer."

Adbrands Weekly Update 25th Oct 2017: McDonald's recovery maintained momentum. Global same-store comps were up 6%, including a healthy 4.1% in the US, while profit jumped by almost 48% year-on-year, well ahead of expectations. In the domestic market, the chain is continuing to win with a high/low strategy that aims to please both ends of the market at the same time. For budget customers, the McPick promo offered two meal items for just $5, and an even bigger value offer is set to break in 2018; meanwhile, for those with more to spend there are semi-customised premium burgers priced above a Big Mac, but still below rivals such as Five Guys. Globally, the group is also winning over new customers with the global roll-out of its "McDelivery" partnership with Uber Eats. As anticipated group revenues were down by 10% reflecting the group's sell-off of company-owned stores to franchisees.

Adbrands Weekly Update 12th October 2017: Ads of the Week: "Le Grand Veggie". As John McEnroe always used to say, "you cannot be SERIOUS!!!" Some kind of first here as the French arm of McDonald's unveils Le Grand Veggie, an entirely vegetarian burger. Yes, really! Will it really catch on? Keep watching the ad as TBWA Paris whips up some excitement by getting a collection of its other clients to share in the general astonishment. 

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