McDonald’s “Pay With Lovin’” campaign launched during the Super Bowl got people talking, but not necessarily positively about the chain, according to a study released today from YouGov BrandIndex.
Giving free meals in exchange for “random acts of lovin’” earned McDonald’s the highest word-of-mouth gain of all Super Bowl advertisers. The report finds 29% of adults saying they talked about McDonald’s with friends and family over the past two weeks. This is up from the 24% level McDonald’s had before the campaign
On the day the campaign broke (Feb. 1), 36% of consumers 18 and older said they would consider McDonald’s for their next QSR food purchase. The good intentions not only lasted, they grew: 11 days later 39% were saying they would consider McDonald’s. How well purchase consideration was converted to actual additional purchases (offsetting more than 1 million free meals) won’ be known until McDonald’s February sales results next month.
But the report does conclude that consumer perceptions of the McDonald’s brand improved very little as a result of the campaign. YouGov BrandIndex’s Buzz score comes from responses to the question, “If you heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?” McDonald’s Buzz score actually dipped briefly to -1 (slightly negative) before rising to a 3 by Valentine’s Day.
YouGov BrandIndex interviews 4,300 people each weekday from a representative US population sample, more than 1.5 million interviews per year. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of more than 2MM individuals.
Are we losing our burger mojo? America used to be on the cutting edge of novelty burgers, yet here comes a second UK burger playing off the awful “Fifty Shades of Grey” buzz. The Custom House in Barnstaple, North Devon, last month offered up the “15 Shades of Bacon” burger. The £15 ($23) tab got you a 2,500-calorie burger with15 types of bacon (including prosciutto, pancetta, turkey bacon, chicken-fried bacon and more) plus bacon-flavored-mayo-infused cream cheese and bacon-dusted fries.
Bread Meats Bread in Glasgow, Scotland, rightly believed it could do better. The result is the “Fifty Shades of Meat” burger. The build: Double helpings of pork sausage patties, topped with Ogleshield cheese and slow-cooked BBQ pulled pork, vanilla-candied bacon, grilled Nurnberg bratwursts smothered in Honey Apple Ketchup and a drizzle of ‘Nduja (spreadable Italian pork sausage) aïoli. Maybe not 50 shades, but enough. Leave a comment if your burger bar’s riding the “50 Shades” bandwagon.
Valentine’s Day is Saturday, of course, and many burger joints have put together themed promotions for the day (I like Zinburger’s “Four Shades of Grape” wine flights). But I like the places that have concocted special burgers for the occasion. Some examples:
Rockit Burger Bar
At Rockit Burger Bar in Chicago, Chef Amanda Downing has created a special heart shaped Mac N Cheese “Heart” Attack Burger. That’s Rockit’s signature quarter-pound Black Angus patty between two fried, heart-shaped mac-and-cheese buns with lettuce, tomato, scallions and sriracha ketchup and served with truffle tots for $15.
The Valentine’s Burger at 8 Oz. Burger in Seattle is house-blend grass-fed beef, sautéed kale, shaved truffles, fried mozzarella House blend grass-fed beef, sautéed kale, shaved truffles, fried mozzarella, raspberry marmalade, truffle aïoli and fresh thyme.
At A&B Burgers in Salem, Mass., diners will have three Valentine’s Day Burgers to choose from (though the names all are broken dreams). The choices are:
Broken Hearted Winkler Burger (fig jam, burrata & bacon);
He’s a Pig Anyway (deep-fried pork belly, arugula, over-easy egg and fried onion strings);
My Messy Break Up (turkey patty, house-made chili and A&B’s coleslaw). Click here to continue reading Valentine’s Day Celebration Burgers
What do you do when same-store sales plunge 38.6% in a month? You cue the Don Ho music and go to Hawaii.
McDonald’s Holding Co. (Japan) Ltd. is having a tough time. This week it reported a net $186 million loss for 2014, its first loss in 11 years, the result of revelations in July that it bought expired meat. For January it announced the 38.6% crash in comp sales following multiple reports of contaminated food (including a tooth found in fries).
Hoping the brighten the mood, the chain next week introduces a new Hawaiian-influenced menu as part of a World Mac promotion. Joining the menu Feb. 10 is a Hawaiian Barbecue Pork burger (at l.), with a pork patty topped with four-hour-slow-cooked pulled pork, coleslaw and pickles.
Loco Moco is a Hawaiian favorite, usually made with white rice, a burger patty, fried egg and brown gravy. McDonald’s version for the Japanese menu, the Loco Moco Burger (at r.), has two burger patties, a cooked egg, lettuce and gravy sauce. Completing the special menu are berry-topped pancakes, a pineapple pie and McShake Banana.