What The Cheesecake Factory and Applebee’s are doing with place-named burgers here, McDonald’s is doing in Switzerland, only in more-complex style.
The complexity for the “Swiss Weeks” burgers campaign comes from Switzerland’s multilingual, multicultural makeup. Each of three burgers not only is named for a region, it incorporates local ingredients and is being advertised in the language—German, French or Italian—appropriate to that part of the country. Priced at 7.90 Swiss francs each, or approximately $8.52, McDonald’s here moves up to fast-casual burger pricing, or perhaps even to casual-dining level.
“Welcome to the culinary event of Switzerland,” McDonald’s site declares in introducing these three burgers:
◙ McRomandie is available first. What’s interesting is that in addition to including beef, tomatoes, lettuce and “deluxe sauce,” the burger is described as having Kaltbach-brand Gruyère cheese and the Paillasse Bread® popular in Romandy, the French-speaking region. The use of brand names here is unusual and interesting as a precedent. The TV commercial for the McRomandie is in French.
◙ McBärn goes on the menu next. It’s named not for barns but for Bern, the city in the central, German speaking region. It also boasts a popular brand name—Emmi Kaltbach-brand Emmentaler cheese—along with a hash-brown patty the size of the burger and bacon. The TV commercial is in German.
◙ McTicino, named for Ticino in the region bordering Italy, is distinguished by its use of that town’s signature segmented bread. Toppings are basil, fresh tomato and Emmi-brand mozzarella, and Italian is the language of the TV spot promoting it.
The common idea uniting the TV commercials is that you have to be Swiss to know the “secret” way to order these burgers. For example, in the McRomandie commercial (which can be watched here), a man speaks his order to a fire hydrant and then drives up the street, where he receives his sack of food from an arm that extends from a bush. This “just for us” wink nicely ties these multilingual elements into a single, national campaign.