McDonald's $100m coffee blitz

05 May 2009

CHICAGO: McDonald's is taking aim at Starbucks and other coffee chains with the launch of McCafé, its newest product platform. The fast food giant is expected to spend more than $100m (€75m; £66m) across TV, print, radio, outdoor, internet, PR and sampling in a campaign beginning this week.

The new push could add $1bn to McDonald's sales in the US this year, around $75,000 per restaurant. The spending will be in addition to McDonald's budgeted spend, estimated at $820m.

The McCafé range will initially include cappuccinos, hot and iced lattes and mochas and hot chocolate. Smoothies and frappés will be added later.

McDonald's chief marketing officer Neil Golden says the first burst of the campaign will “pulse on and off very strongly through the summer with sustained weight well into 2010.”

Creative work by DDB Chicago plays on the acute accent in McCafé including “McCafé your day” in which a commute becomes a “commuté.” Media is by OMD with digital creative by Tribal DDB.

There will also be heavyweight sampling at events and promotions. Restaurants in the McDonald's home town of Chicago are offering Free McCafé Mondays. The company is also running a feature on Twitter.

UBS analyst David Palmer says this is “one of the bigger drumroll moments in McDonald's marketing for some time” and says he expects initial trialing could dent Starbucks' sales by as much as 5%.

Data sourced from AdAge; additional content by WARC staff