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Today’s Six Quick Marketing Lessons

An A for timing: McDonald’s UK beef newspaper ad

1) Where there’s an advantage to be had, take it. There’s no evidence that Burger King served horsemeat to consumers, but the chain did withdraw and dump product from one of its meat suppliers, which has been implicated in the supermarket scandal, British magazine Marketing reported.

Right on the heels of BK’s announcement that it was pulling product came a print ad from McDonald’s. The “B is for Beef” ad touts its use of 100% British and Irish beef in its burgers. A coincidence, says McDonald’s.

2) In this economy, price matters. Already a force in the morning, Dunkin’ Donuts today moved to be a bigger player for lunch and afternoon snacks by now pricing all of its Bakery Sandwiches at $2.99. Some initially had been priced as high as $3.70 in some markets. The line includes Ham & Cheese; Turkey, Cheddar & Bacon; Chicken Salad and Tuna Salad, and Texas Toast Grilled Cheese, all oven-toasted and served on a French roll, bagel, croissant, Texas Toast, or multigrain flatbread.

Corroborating this lesson, Wendy’s has dropped the price of its kids meals to $1.99 after 4 p.m. for a limited time.

3) Price matters, but sex still sells. Teen guys don’t buy fish sandwiches. But as Carl’s Jr. and Hardee’s learned when they hired Kim Kardashian to sell another guy-unfriendly food—salads—a bit of skin captures teen boys attention. It’s why Miss Turkey appeared in TV spots for the chain’s turkey burger and why swimsuit model Nina Agdal touts the new Charbroiled Atlantic Cod Fish Sandwich as of tomorrow. Watch the behind-the-scenes video here. If Ms. Agdal can get young guys to order a $3.99 fish sandwich rather than a burger, she should become the permanent Carl’s Jr./Hardee’s spokeswoman.

 4) Get there first. McDonald’s long-promised Fish McBites go national on Feb. 12, but Checkers/Rally’s is touting its version, simply called Fish Bites, now. Watch the commercial here.

 5) Timing matters. On Groundhog Day (Feb. 2) Sonic Drive-Ins will cut in half the price for its Footlong hot dogs. Is Groundhog Day the right day to promote hot dogs? Just asking. The chain’s celebration of the day also will host an online “Predict-a-thon” beginning Thursday here.

6) Keep sharpening a good idea. I know I’m a bit obsessed with boxed burger meals, but I’m telling ya, they’re comin’! In Poland, Burger King is now trying a version of its King Box (at left) that bundles a meal for two. Included are one large beverage, fries and onion rings plus choice of two entrees from among chicken nuggets (five), Crispy Chicken sandwich, Whopper Jr., regular cheeseburger, Chicken Nugget Burger or regular hamburger. All that is just 21.50 Zloty, or about $6.92.

1 comment to Today’s Six Quick Marketing Lessons

  • I marvel at Dunkin’ Donuts’ weird ability to do whatever it wants despite being all pink and donutty and kinda leftover from the 1970s. Don’t you? I mean, they threaten Starbucks in certain areas, they’re the choice of blue collar Northeastern tough guys, they’re on Times Square, they’re owning it on Pinterest, and they’re going after lunch crowds and non-donut snackers with these Bakery Sandwiches now. Frankly, if I were a Panera in the same strip mall as them, I’d be wondering what I should do to step it up. Don’t mess with Mr. Pink.

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