OAK BROOK, IL: McDonald's is undertaking its largest marketing initiative in more than 30 years to nationally launch its McCafé coffee line today. It includes brand cappuccinos, lattes, and mochas.
From a McCafeYourDay Twitter feed to a sweepstakes partnership with Visa, the fast food chain will seek to promote the new product line with an integrated approach to marketing that includes PR and advertising, said Danya Proud, senior manager of US media relations at McDonald's. She noted it was the company's largest business initiative in 30 years.
Though she declined to provide a budget figure, Proud said the initiative's marketing and PR budget would be “a significant investment.” The restaurant chain hopes the effort helps it expand its consumer base, she noted, adding that a bottom-line growth of $1 billion incrementally by 2010 is estimated once its entire beverage business is complete, with frappés and smoothies.
The launch of the McCafé line differs from the company's traditional product launches, which typically occur on one day across restaurants. Instead, a number of markets have offered this line over the past 18 months, supported by a number of local agencies, said Proud. Today, May 5, is the official national launch of McCafé, though.
“It's been more of rolling plan, and lots of learning from local markets, rather than everyone launching on one day at one time; a lot of local markets have been spearheading efforts around PR and marketing,” said Proud.
The national scope of the campaign “geared up” in February at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, where McDonald's provided sampling and PR outreach “building awareness and credibility for the brand by getting in front of and [putting] product in the hands of many of the tastemakers and stylists.”
“For us, we had to look at incorporating all elements of our PR arsenal, because many our markets already had this," she added. "We were not able to solely rely on media relations because for many markets this is not new news.”
While media outreach is included, the launch of McCafé is centered around the “McCafé Your Day” contest with Visa, which “has a lot of things in common: the ability to cast a wide-net, given the diverse groups and segments, that we serve,” said Proud.
In addition to national AOR GolinHarris, McDonald's is also working with several agencies to serve its ethnic segments to promote the sweepstakes including its African American AOR Burrell Communications, Asian-American AOR IW Group, and Hispanic AOR Valencia, Pérez & Echeveste (VPE).
The contest will be promoted with a Twitter page, Tribal DDB-created Facebook page, and outreach to bloggers, ranging from moms to coffee aficionados, according to Kate Brennan, account group supervisor at GolinHarris.
The company will also promote the sweepstakes internally to its crew via Station M, noted Proud.