Episode 9

Published on:

8th Jun 2020

McDonald's versus Coronavirus

Every day, McDonald's makes 40+ million Big Macs worldwide. How does the brand stay coherent in the face of a global pandemic and other enormous challenges?

In this episode:

We're joined by George Strakhov, Head of strategy EMEA for DDB, and Steve Griffiths, Chief Digital Officer for DDB Europe, both of whom work with McDonald's across 40+ markets.

The scale of the McDonald's business

  • A dynamic and complex business
  • Product and experience
  • Diversity of touchpoints
  • Geographical diversity
  • Menu diversity
  • Segment diversity
  • Guest counts and sales
  • Speed of the feedback loop

DDB and McDonald's

  • From advertising to strategic planning and tactical activation
  • Market to market activation
  • Digital transformation
  • Focus on convenience - experience, accuracy and efficiency
  • Optimising process in a process driven company
  • Changing consumer tastes and experience
  • Artificial intelligence
  • Creating interconnected, intelligent touchpoints
  • Preference and transactional data
  • Loyalty and longitudinal data
  • Data driven marketing, analytics and experience design
  • Creating a coherent brand experience

Maximising the interaction

  • The balance between delivering the most value for customer and business
  • Short term (activation) vs long term drivers (brand)
  • Constantly adapting to circumstance - a very responsive business

McDonald's and the Coronavirus crisis

  • Restaurant closures
  • Cautious reopening
  • Focus on crew
  • The perils of getting it wrong
  • A return to the foundational elements of the business
  • People needing the basics more than ever - Quality, Service, Cleanliness
  • The 'bubble of happy'
  • Producing 40 million Big Macs all the same
  • Switch to drive thru, changes to menu, delivery changes, dark kitchens
  • The benefits of being a 'known quantity'

Creating intergenerational connections

  • Happy Meals and birthday parties
  • No longer a family mealtime
  • Screen distractions
  • Matching the brand with the next generation

Innovation and brand experience

  • Entrepreneurship vs innovation
  • Bazaars vs cathedrals
  • The difficulties of tech mediated brand experience
  • A gap that needs closing
  • Giving franchisees and restaurant managers the capacity
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About the Podcast

The Total Experience Podcast
A podcast about brand experience - what it is, how it works and how we can all do it better. Edited and hosted by Richard Cable.
Welcome to the Total Experience podcast from Tribal London - a podcast about brand experience. What it is, how it works and how we can all do it better. Each episode we’ll be bringing you enticing, fresh and thought-provoking perspectives as we go deep on a new and different aspect of brand experience.

Our aim in creating this podcast is to take the good conversations we have about brand experience with our clients, our colleagues and other people whose opinions we value, from inside and outside the industry, and share them with a wider audience.

The Total Experience Podcast is hosted by Richard Cable, former BBC journalist and now Head of Content at Tribal London, the Total Experience agency.

We hope you find this podcast useful and interesting. We’d love you to get involved and let us know how we’re doing and the sort of things you’d like us to cover in future episodes.

About your host

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Tribal London

We've been Tribal since 1995. Worldwide since 2000. Experts in experience since always. We build experience ecosystems that build better businesses. We call this Total Experience.