Friday, April 6, 2012

My Observations About McDonald's Advertising In China

McDonald's ads in China have similar things with those in the US:

a) Like ad campaigns in the US, McDonald’s ad campaigns in China would have a high focus on its “happy meal” spirit, focusing on the happiness of eating at McDonald’s with either families or friends.

b) The people in McDonald’s commercials are always young, energetic, and have a good shape even though they eat so much fast food.

c) McDonald’s in both countries would create commercials targeting children specifically by using animation and toys.

d) Actually their children-targeting ad campaigns have been criticized to have misled children’s eating behavior in both countries.

They also have something different:

a) Different from ad campaigns in the US, McDonald’s in China would emphasize Chinese cultures or spirits that Chinese people value so much, like sharing with others, competing for paying the bill, collectivism, and nationalism, while individualism or self-centered are seldom used.

b) Localized celebrities that Chinese people know and like would be used in McDonald’s ad campaigns in China.

c) Some traditional customs or mascot would be used in these ads.

d) Also, they would create ads for a specific traditional Chinese festival, especially Spring Festival, which is the biggest festival celebrated in China.

And here are my suggestions to McDonald's ads in China:

a) Any information which is presented to consumers and advertises for the health and nutrition of their food should be fact-based. McDonald’s ads should not mislead people especially children who would easily believe the food is so healthy and nutritious that it’s the right thing to eat much fast food.

b) My personal feelings towards McDonald’s ad campaigns in China are that they do have a great focus on Chinese values and spirits. But compared to most ad campaigns in the US, I think they need more creativity and fresh ideas. Most of the commercials make you smile, but not a big laugh. Hence, I would suggest McDonald’s in China make more funny and creative commercials.

c) Moreover, McDonald’s in China could make more efforts on the diversity of ad categories, like expanding from TV commercials to outdoor billboards, event sponsorship, interactive campaigns, etc.

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