McDonald's hopes to hold on to its UK market success with push to promote the quality of its food

McDonald’s is continuing to invest heavily in dispelling myths over the quality of its food with another instalment in its advertising series intended to instil trust in the brand while helping to maintain its success in the UK market.

The ad campaign, developed by Leo Burnett London and OMD UK, follows on from the myth busting approach adopted in ‘The Cow’ ad released earlier this year and aims to promote the quality of McDonald’s core products- fries and chicken.

It will consist of three 40-second TV ads and represents the company’s biggest investment in a quality and food provenance marketing campaign to date. The trio of ads adopts an upbeat mood while acknowledging the common apprehensions people hold over the quality of McDonald’s food through a central character who is subsequently convinced otherwise by farmers, butchers or teachers.

The ads will be accompanied by the brand’s ‘Good to Know’ ethos which aims to provide customers with more information on how the food is sourced. A new website has been created by Razorfish for the initiative which provides more content on the campaign’s message.

The advertising approach is understandable given the prominence of more premium alternatives in the UK such as Nando’s, Byron Burger and Pret-A-Manger. A decade ago the brand was struggling in the UK as a result of emerging alternatives, overexpansion, growing health trends and doubts over the quality of its food.

A greater focus in customer research and increased investment in its existing restaurants helped turn things around however. The company’s UK chief marketing officer, Jill McDonald, joined from British Airwaves in 2006 and has now overseen 34 consecutive quarters of sales growth in the UK.

Reflecting on the turnaround McDonald, who left earlier this year to take up the role of chief executive at Halfords, said “absolutely number one is get closer to your customers and get superior insight, that’s a real competitive advantage”.

This success is not reflected in the US where greater competition in the form of Five Guys and alternatives such as Chipotle, have left the brand in trouble. Its decision to promote the quality of its produce in the UK may help it fend off ever increasing competition which is beginning to cross the Atlantic such as the arrival of Five Guys in the UK.

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