Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Open your snack hole

A few blocks from where I live, the McDonald's "Open Your Snack Hole" billboard graces my neighborhood.

What can I say? It's just a dag-nasty ad, no matter which way you slice it. Local blogs that have noticed it tend to agree. I've blogged criticisms of McDonald's marketing efforts in the past, and I must add this to the list.

Readers outside of Seattle: have you seen this ad in your community? I ask because this appears to be a Seattle-only pilot campaign.

I was so curious about this that I asked my marketing professor. His response (excerpts thereof):

all I can say is 'Wow.' Or, more precisely (and please excuse the profane referernce) 'WTF?' The execution seems unlikely to work for most sets of customers. Too icky, too gross, too obscenely disgusting... Of course, I may not be the target audience.
My guess is that McDonald's is thinking: hey, bloggers will eat this up and it will turn into an awesome viral marketing campaign! And yes, that's happening, and I'm helping out with that. But as I learned over the last quarter in marketing class, merely raising awareness about your product is just part of what successful marketing accomplishes. You also need to cultivate a positive brand association--people should, you know, feel good about your product. So they'll go out and buy it.

Does this campaign do that? What do you think?



Michael said...

Dang, that is a bad ad, not seen here in Seattle yet.

Here via Blogexplosion.

Michael said...

I've not seen it here in Seattle I meant.

Jonathan said...

The in my neighborhood is up at 16th and Pine. According to what I read in local blogs, there was another one spotted up in Wallingford. I haven't heard about anyone seeing this anywhere else in the country...

James Cooper said...

I'm thinking you're probably right about their intentions with that ad. Companies are slowly starting to realize that blogs and other community-driven advertising is the best way to go and such a billboard as that seems perfect fodder for the online community.

Now, whether it'll work in McD's favor and make is want to eat there...

darwin said...

I would not like to see this in my neighborhood. Such a bad taste.

Vanessa said...

Short of offering me $1 million, there is nothing McDonald's can do to make me want to "open my snack hole" for them.

Haven't seen it here yet.

Cascadia Girl said... repusive and indigestible as its so-called food. Yes, there is one of these near my 'hood on MLK. I couldn't believe it. Yet another reason to never eat there. Who wants to share dinner with someone who spoke repulsively when introduced? (And... "snack" is frighteningly close to another "s" word that could be an even more objectionable adjective to "hole".)


Cascadia Girl

nat said...

Thats just a bad ad. Slogan aside, the graphics work is just unappealing.

Anonymous said...

I saw that ad and it made me cringe. And then I laughed. Not sure who they're targeting, but maybe the people who frequent McDonald's will find it funny. And then buy more snack wraps.

Does offensive equal effective these days?