Absurdly Driven looks at the world of business with a skeptical eye and a firmly rooted tongue in cheek.
Wendy's is pushing breakfast.
Burger King has spread its Impossible nature all over America.
KFC constantly interferes with societal norms with its array of always-creepy Colonels Sanders.
[Or should that be Colonel Sanderses? --Ed.]
What, may I ask you, is McDonald's doing that's exciting?
Well, it's experimenting with a To Go-only restaurant. And, um, trying to find paper straws that its customers don't loathe, ones that are actually recyclable.
And, well, what do you actually think--or even feel--about McDonald's right now?
Has it changed? Has it delivered a new impression into your consciousness?
I only ask because I'm not sure McDonald's thinks it's doing very well on that front.
You see, it's just decided to fire its ad agency and hire one that's responsible for some marketing with which you might be familiar.
As Adweek reports, McDonald's has fired an agency called We Are Unlimited.
Which is odd, given that We Are Unlimited was specifically created to service McDonald's.
Perhaps McDonald's wasn't fond of having it the company's own way.
Now, it's decided to put its image in the hands of Wieden and Kennedy, New York. These are the people who brought you the "Dilly Dilly" ads for Bud Light.
Surely you remember how famous those were. Surely you immediately rushed out to buy multiple cases of Bud Light as a result. (Or, perhaps, not.)
Still, I fear this decision sends a clear message to customers.
It goes something like this:
Hey, you loyal McDonald's crowd. We're afraid you don't think we're, uh, cool anymore. So we're trying to do something about that. Because we want the whole of America to be talking about us, as this will make you think we've changed a lot and will make us think that we really are cool. It'll also--we hope--make sure the people in the marketing department might be a bit more respected around here. Or, you know, at least keep their jobs.
McDonald's senior vice president of global marketing Colin Mitchell put it a little differently.
He said moving to the Dilly-ers "allows us to push our vision for modern marketing in this very important market."
You see, McDonald's wants modern marketing, not that ancient stuff from the times when brands were, um, knights in shining armor.
Clients can come to believe that certain ad agencies are in possession of a miracle door, behind which lives the zeitgeist.
I cannot help but conjecture that, in the case of Wieden and Kennedy, McDonald's sees several doors, as the agency's Portland office is responsible for KFC's twisted Colonels--and has long been Nike's agency.
(Ad agencies, of course, always insist that their different offices are entirely separate. Not one whisper is ever exchanged between them.)
So now, dear customer, you can expect a whole new McDonald's.
Well, a whole new McDonald's image, one that you will bathe in and one that will stop all its franchisees bickering about the company's alleged marketing myopia. (A sample, here.)
I wonder how this will go.
I wonder whether a twisted Ronald will rise from his early grave, claim his real name is Donald, and suddenly be the apogee of modern marketing cool.