If you live in the US and you haven’t seen the latest McDonald’s Iced Coffee commercials on TV, its possible it hasn’t hit your market yet. Here in Southern California, a marketing campaign blitz is underway. See Premium Roast Iced Coffee at a Southern California McDonald’s …
If you’ve managed to miss the McDonald’s ad, have a look …
To be honest, McDonald’s is probably the last place I’m inclined to go for coffee, but I have to tell you, this marketing campaign strikes me as brilliant.
As part of a broader initiative to go further up-scale with gourmet coffee, McDonald’s introduced the McCafe stores over four years ago in the Australian market.
In the US market, McDonald’s began testing premium coffee and espresso-based drinks in approximately 800 stores over a year ago and has plans to expand the premium coffee products to nearly 14,000 US based stores across the country.
While the push to compete in the premium coffee market may seem like an inappropriate fit for McDonald’s, offering iced coffee is a no-brainer. According to the National Coffee Association, over 41 million Americans switch to iced coffee during the warmer months of the year. And for those who would prefer the more appealing ambiance of a Starbucks store over a McDonald’s, an iced coffee is more often a hit-and-run order-on-the-go purchase.
Which brings me to these latest iced coffee commercials on TV. Perfectly executed, in my opinion. Short and sweet, the ads capture the precise essence and appeal of the new iced coffee offering.
It’s only a 30 second spot, but notice a few clever techniques. The only branding is the logo on the cup, and the brief splash at the very end. There’s no shot or view of the inside or outside of the store, the line of customers, or the standard McDonald’s food counter. Just a refreshing iced coffee, on the go, from the frame of reference of the customer holding the iced coffee in her hand as she’s walking along the sidewalk, taking in the spring/summer scenery outdoors.
The music also strikes me as equally clever. A cheerful, appealing Latin sounding theme, sung by a female vocalist with a cool, sultry pleasing sound, and no one seems able to understand the lyrics. Clearly not English, maybe Portuguese, a-la some Brazilian samba music style, but it’s immediately catchy and deliberately drives the buzz marketing with people clamoring to decipher the words she’s singing.
The whole thing is appealing enough, without getting on your nerves, to sustain the relentless barrage of coverage underway. Not exactly the television version of the 2-second iced-coffee nano-ads (see Michael Stelzner’s blog) that popped up over the radio last year. These recent McDonald’s TV commercials are short bursts, delivered over and over again, sometimes twice within one or two minutes of each other. I haven’t timed the different versions with a stop-watch, but I’m pretty sure I’ve seen some short 10-15 second versions, almost a sound-byte, playing 5 or 6 times within a 15 minute time frame. But they don’t seem to get on your nerves.
So, now I’m curious, and I’ll have to visit a McDonald’s soon to try one of the new iced coffees. From what I’m hearing, the feedback has been generally positive. People are saying the iced coffee drinks at McDonald’s are pretty good!
And the price is right. Looks like McDonald’s Iced Coffee may give Starbucks a run for the money. Available in five flavors, Hazelnut, Vanilla, Caramel, Sugar-Free Vanilla and Regular. As the ad says, “a large cup of cool, creamy bliss for just $1.79″ ….
And, if someone can translate the lyrics in the commercial, by all means, post a comment and solve the mystery … buh, duh, buh, buh, bao