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    Advertising Week Today, Day Two: How McDonald’s is plotting the McRib comeback with McData

    Advertising Week New York is back—today is the second of four days—and so is our Advertising Week Today pop-up newsletter. Reading this online and want it delivered straight to your inbox? Sign up here. (By subscribing, you’ll get occasional pop-up newsletters for various industry events throughout the year, including Cannes Lions, SXSW and CES.)

    Day Two

    The second day of Advertising Week New York continued to draw impressive crowds—particularly in the morning. For instance, a 10:35 a.m. panel titled “Buying CTV: The Power of Decisioning and Data on Premium Video” reached capacity as wannabe attendees were still in a long line snaking outside the conference room. Imagine the sadification of all those people who decisioned to attend that session, only to be rejectified! (If you were among those turned away, you can watch the archived video of the session here.)

    McDonald’s CMO Tariq Hassan on McRibs and data

    Ad Age’s Garett Sloane worked up his appetite by attending McDonald’s Chief Marketing Officer Tariq Hassan’s appearance on “The Google and YouTube Morning Show” at AWNY Tuesday. His dispatch:

    Hassan (pictured above) mentioned the McRib’s comeback, without getting specific about the date. McRib watchers are always anticipating when the sandwich drops into stores; it was last seen last year around this time.

    As it turns out, McDonald’s is watching for McRib watchers as it plots its McRib ad campaign on YouTube.

    “Before we launch, we get to get an inside look into who’s actually out there, looking for McRib,” Hassan said, “and then [we] tie it back to very specific elements around what they’re actually watching on YouTube.”

    Hassan was, in essence, revealing some of the secret sauce of the data strategy behind McDonald’s marketing. In recent years, the fast-food giant has gotten more sophisticated with first-party data—the information it can collect directly from consumers. All marketers are trying to create first-party data relationships through their websites, marketing and rewards programs. A key source of first-party data for McDonald’s is MyMcDonald’s Rewards.

    “The biggest change has been moving from a short-term transactional mindset to really thinking about long-term relationships, and obviously the ability to leverage data to do that,” Hassan said. “And that data is not only giving us those insights, fan to fan, but it’s allowing us to think about how we really create experiences that are going to truly resonate.”

    McDonald’s has used data to guide its creative strategy, Hassan said. The chain has had some marketing wins recently, such as its collaboration with Cactus Plant Flea Market. McDonald’s let the streetwear brand design its food boxes.

    Also today, McDonald’s announced it would sell Krispy Kreme donuts at its locations in Louisville, Kentucky, home of the donut chain.

    “I like what’s going on in the industry on the whole, and how we’re really in a cultural mashup,” Hassan said, “and so you’re seeing the most unlikely of partners coming together—[for] collabs.”

    TV 3.0 will ‘look more like Facebook’

    Ad Age’s Parker Herren was on hand for Tuesday’s AWNY panel “TV Streaming’s Next Frontier: Commerce.” His dispatch:

    Hugh Scallon, VaynerMedia’s VP, head of video activation, described a future of TV infused with the brand utility of social media—what he called “TV 3.0.” After diving into the evolving technologies of shoppable TV, such as a Roku partnership with Walmart in which purchases can be made via remote control with little content disruption, Scallon predicted, “Television will probably look more like Facebook towards the end of the decade.”

    As viewing trends further away from linear TV and into digital video, Scallon also predicted phone-centric viewing will not only grow on platforms like TikTok, YouTube and Snap, but as a primary means of TV consumption. “That critical mass should open up opportunities for brands, for consumers, for data, for learning,” said Scallon of TV becoming a leading venue for e-commerce. “It’ll be like, five, six years ago with social—brands come in and look at it as foundational. That’s where we’ll be probably in 2025.”

     

    Quote of the day

    “How do I want people to get involved emotionally, how do I want them to feel after this, how do I get them to care?” —Becky Lynch on the art of marketing

    Wait, did we say marketing? We meant wrestling. Or, wait—maybe we meant both. (Lynch took the stage at AWNY on Tuesday in a panel titled “Out of the Ring: Building Iconic Brands with WWE Superstar Becky Lynch.”)

     

    Retail media continues to grow and grow—at the expense of search and social

    Forrester Senior Analyst Nikhil Lai took the stage at AWNY Tuesday as part of a panel titled “Forrester Insights on Retail Media, Presented by Roundel”—one of several sessions dedicated to advertising’s hottest trend: retail media. Ad Age’s Adrianne Pasquarelli reports:

    Lai spoke about retail media’s growth as a revenue stream for retailers and an ad channel for brands. Forrester estimates that $40 billion was spent on retail media this year, up 39% from last year, and predicts the category to reach $85 billion by 2026.

    Lai noted that while advertisers are using trade and shopper marketing dollars for retail media, they are also “increasingly” diverting budgets from search and social advertising into retail media.

    Yet challenges remain. In a Forrester survey, 45% of brands said there are too many retail media networks to manage.

    Dive deeper

    A few in-depth dispatches from today’s AWNY sessions:

    “Brands must speak out on Roe v. Wade with activism, not statements, consumers say,” from Ad Age’s Judann Pollack. 

    “Omnicom partners with NGL Collective to highlight Hispanic creators,” from Ad Age’s Erika Wheless.

    “American Eagle’s CMO on how to get shoppers’ attention—and why brands should experiment,” from Ad Age’s Jack Neff.

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