McDonald’s desperation mounts as burger behemoth reports lousy Februrary U.S. sales

TDC Note – Recently we discussed, here and here, how the “shadow of crisis” has not passed and is, in fact, growing darker and wider. How many more warning signs are required before people begin taking the necessary steps to protect their families and wealth? Of course, the article below takes a page from Operation Mockingbird and reviews every aspect of what needs to be improved while completely ignoring our failing economy. by Lewis Lazare, BizJounals Now what? Two months after McDonald’s launched a massive revamped “I’m Lovin’ It” ad campaign from Leo Burnett Chicago, the situation at the burger behemoth has grown even more dire. McDonald’s today reported that comparable restaurant sales in the United States February plummeted 4 percent year over year. McDonald’s attributed the huge falloff not to weather — even though parts of the country had a pretty miserable February — but rather to “ongoing aggressive competitive activity.” [emphasis mine – Can you say nonsense? Sure you can.] So at least McDonald’s has pinpointed now what is the principal problem that has been driving down sales in the U.S. for well over a year now. In its news flash today, McDonald’s also said it had just completed a Turnaround Summit designed to put renewed focus on the elements of the restaurant experience that it believes matter most to customers — relevant, high-quality food and beverages, value and service from a trusted brand. All of which sort of begs the question what were McDonald’s executives really doing for the past several years if not focusing on these matters? The hugely disappointing February sales results are sure to cause newly-arrived McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook to take a hard look at Burnett’s rethought “Lovin’ It” campaign. He needs to figure out whether it is the right campaign at the right time to help turnaround the burger chain. Clearly the new advertising jumped out of the gate long before the company had made any moves to rectify what looks to be the its biggest problem — namely its bloated and unappealing menu. Whether Easterbrook will ask his U.S. marketing honcho Deborah Wahl to go back in and retool — or even dump — the new campaign remains to be seen. The media game plan for the campaign called for brand advertising to go dark last month and for new advertising to be primarily product-focused. The only problem now becomes what products McDonald’s should focus on promoting as a major menu revamp gets underway. Continue Reading>>>

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