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McD’s Appeals to Aussie Pride with Angus Burger Marketing

McDonald’s taps Australians’ national pride and gourmet-taste aspirations in marketing supporting its launch this month of Angus burgers down under.

In the country where the chain is known colloquially and affectionately as “Macca’s,” the introduction of the Grand Angus and Mighty Angus burgers is backed by television commercials (left) promoting them as “A great big taste…and a little bit fancy.” DDB Sydney handles the account. The Grand Angus (topped with cheese, onion, mayo, lettuce and tomato) is priced at AU$6.45 (US$5.45); the Mighty Angus is topped with bacon, two cheese slices, relish and mayo is AU$6.75 (US$5.71).

angusprintBut the heart of the marketing push is its emphasis on McDonald’s use of Australian-raised Angus beef. Food commercials stress it but just in case the point is missed, the chain is airing a 45-second commercial in which Aussie ranchers talk about the chain’s 30-year commitment to them and how McDonald’s has benefitted the country’s beef market. It closes with the message, “Hand in Hand with Australia.”

The beef McDonald’s is using is certified as Angus by Certified Australian Beef Pty Ltd. The chain reportedly has worked for more than two years before the rollout to ensure that all meat could be certified as locally sourced Angus.

With 785 stores in Australia, McDonald’s has more than twice the presence of rival Burger King’s 327 locations, which operate under the Hungry Jack’s name. Recent Hungry Jack’s marketing is a price-based promotion of “Stunner Deals,” which include a cheeseburger for AU$4.95 (US$4.19) and newly introduced Chicken Nuggets for AU$6.95 (US$5.87).

This is an important battleground for the chains. For its fiscal year ended June 30, 2009, the EMEA/APAC (Europe, Middle East and Africa/Asia Pacific) region that includes Australia was Burger King Holdings’ top performer, reporting a 2.9% same-store sales increase. Burger King Holdings reported a 0.4% increase for U.S./Canada and a 1.2% increase systemwide for the year. McDonald’s APMEA (Asia/Pacific, Middle East and Africa) region reported a 4.9% same-store sales increase for the six-months ended June 30, 2009. Systemwide, McDonald’s comparable sales rose 4.6% for the six-month period.

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