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McDonald’s: keeping customers Lovin It for 15 years

McDonald’s: keeping customers Lovin It for 15 years

Posted on: September 26, 2023

This is the story of how McDonald’s and their unique approach to emotional brand-building helped to not just initiate, but also continue an extraordinary 15 years of commercial growth, despite a catastrophic PR crisis, the fragmentation of the Informal Eating Out category, and the unprecedented disruption of Covid-19.

It’s hard to imagine a time when McDonald’s wasn’t a thriving and much-loved part of everyday British life.

In 2023, McDonald’s is an adored cultural institution considered “as British as fish and chips ”, and a retail power brand serving 2.3 million customers a day.

But 15 years ago, things were very different.

Half a decade of cultural outrage had taken its toll and soon business as usual could have meant no business at all.

This is the story of how brand-building got customers Lovin’ It again, and kept them Lovin’ It, no matter what.

And how this contributed £4.7bn of additional net revenue to the McDonald’s business - making this the most effective case-study for any restaurant brand in IPA history.

With a brand like McDonald's, we look to talk to everyone. We don't do a lot of thinking about target market and segmentation; we need to talk to the whole nation. As it stands, there's still not a better medium than TV for that.

Tom SussmanDeputy Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett UK

Film Contributors

  • Tom Sussman, Deputy Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett UK
  • Hannah Pain, Head of Marketing, McDonald’s
  • Charlie Ebdy, Chief Strategy Officer, OMD UK

When I think of McDonald's and the relationship it has with its agencies, I can't think of a tighter partnership anywhere else in town. That last 15 years of growth, I just don't believe would have happened without it.

Tom SussmanDeputy Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett UK

This paper won Gold at the 2022 IPA Effectiveness Awards. You can buy the full case study by visiting the IPA website here.

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