dmid 2013

How Aussies do it down under

The 72 year old franchise known officially as McDonald’s has often been colloquially nicknamed with varying titles across the globe. Commonly referred affectionately as ‘The Golden Arches, Makku , The Big M , Ronnie Mac’s Steakhouse, McD’s, Mickey D’s and the likes. Never has McDonald’s officially succumbed to the democracy of localised vernacular to brandish their signage with monikers, until now.

What marks this occasion as unique is that like many super brands McDonald’s has become well known for its sometime overzealous nature of attempting to protect its trademark. Usually targeting companies that are perceived to be infringing on the chains globally recognised identity. But for a very short period of time, it seems McD’s legal team is taking a breather allowing Australia to play around with the name, adding an Aussie spin.

For those who haven’t had much to do with ‘Aussies’. The Australian version of the English language is far from normal, for some it’s even a little bizarre, we Australians certainly have our quirks, we tend to shorten words and add an Aussie spin to it, perhaps it’s simply laziness, or part of our seemingly down to earth nature and perhaps our need to familiarise things with a sense of mate ship For example the name David becomes ‘Davo’, breakfast becomes ‘breakie’, service station becomes ‘servo’. We do it for practically everything. It’s just the Aussie way… Some people may even go as far as saying it’s not really Australian slang since it’s just the way we talk.

And so from January the 8th through to the 4th of February in celebration of Australia Day, the international fast food giant will cash in on re-branding 13 selected venues using localised vernacular to call McDonald’s “Macca’s”. The campaign includes a whole series of adjustments to brand application including store signage, menus, digital advertising and other such costly external advertising mediums.

“We’ve been a part of Australia for over 40 years now and we’re incredibly proud to embrace our ‘Australian-only’ nickname,” commented Mark Lollback, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s Australia. “What better way to show Aussies how proud we are to be a part of the Australian community than by changing our store signs to the name the community has given us?”

Considering the costly nature of running a non permanent campaign such as this, one might ponder why McDonald’s Australia didn’t just invest or promote their already existing McOz burger further, which has already been on their standard menu for quite some time. Not forgetting they have for years incorporated the term ‘Macca’s’ into past advertising media campaigns as voice over’s and the likes, frankly I’d be interested if this campaign even batters an eyelid for most Australians. Having asked a few people myself as to what they thought about this event, generally their response was positive, however most people hadn’t even registered the fact that this campaign was even under way.

Part of McDonald’s justification for branding the chain officially during such a short period comes with knowing that a large portion of the Australian community associates McDonald’s as Macca’s (according to an AFP report their marketing research activities determined that over 55% of Australians refer McDonald’s as Macca’s) and frankly what better time to exploit that realisation during the Australia day celebrations. Whether the campaign is a success or not, seems so far the buzz surrounding this campaign has got us all talking, achieving high impact brand exposure, even if it is short term.

Published - Brand Coffee Biweekly Newsletter – dmid – 2013