Advertising 101: Know Your Audience
June 17, 2009 at 12:56 am
Ever seen this ad before? If you can believe it, it’s a McDonalds ad from a few years ago. In their effort to be really hip and cool, they accidentally offended and annoyed the very audience they were trying to impress. Unbeknownst to the out-of-touch marketing department, they were encouraging young men to copulate with hamburgers. Based on the guy’s expression, it appears that he was actually considering it. Those double cheeseburgers must be really good.
What’s the lesson here? There are far too many to list, but these are the ones that come to mind:
- Know your audience. If you’re speaking to a young, urban demographic, have some sort of knowledge regarding slang terms. Corollary: don’t encourage sex with your products.
- Know yourself. If you don’t have all the answers, it’s ok. Just don’t fake it, or you might end up looking foolish (and, in McDonalds’ case, creepy as hell).
Obviously, this was a big blunder, but McDonalds is so huge they were able to absorb the impact and not skip a beat. A smaller company, however, might not be so lucky, so unless you’re a behemoth like Ronald McDonald you should avoid these types of mistakes at all costs.
Entry filed under: Best Practices, Branding, Buzz Marketing, LinkedIn, Marketing, Messaging, Strategy, Word of Mouth Marketing. Tags: advertising, Branding, customers, demographic, hamburger, I'd Hit It, Marketing Campaigns, marketing strategy, McDonalds, Messaging, Ronald McDonald.