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McSwift: Marketing Analysis of Franchise vs Artist

Page history last edited by Alan Liu 7 years, 4 months ago

McSwift: Marketing Analysis of Franchise vs Artist

Team Members: Benjamin Chan, Griffin Davis, Jaclyn Ben-Porat, Edward Moss

Team Annotated Bibliographies: Benjamin Chan, Griffin Davis, Jaclyn Ben-Porat, Edward Moss

Team Research Reports: Benjamin Chan, Griffin Davis, Jaclyn Ben-Porat, Edward Moss


Background: The goal of this project is to explore the marketing strategies used by a large corporation in comparison with those utilized by a single person's brand. Our shared academic interest of the language and practices used in the marketing industry led us to focus on this topic. As subjects for our study we chose to focus on fast food corporation Mcdonalds and music artist Taylor Swift. We felt that because both subjects started in the United States, are considered pioneers in their fields and have achieved mainstream popularity, and have international appeal that they would be suitable comparisons. By delving into different marketing and advertising campaigns used throughout the history of the McDonald's and Taylor Swift, we hoped to find what overlapping similarities and differences exist between the two.


Hypothesis: Marketing of an individual relies more heavily on making a personal connection with the audience, whereas a massive company’s marketing success depends largely on their ability to connect with a target audience as a whole.




-Taylor Swift Marketing Analysis Storymap 


-McDonalds Marketing Analysis Storymap 



Additional Thougts and Resources:




Summary of what we researched: We looked at the history of McDonald’s in both the US and abroad. This begins with the first restaurant in San Bernardino, CA in 1940 and goes up until present day. We looked at important campaigns over the years and what are some of the different campaigns that have been used internationally. We then took two important marketing campaigns of the last decade, “I’m Lovin’ It” and “McCafe,” and analyzed how these campaigns look in both the US and internationally.


Conclusion: Over the years McDonald’s has had many campaigns centered towards certain groups of people all over the world. It targets its marketing towards specific groups of people in its US campaigns, but is more generalized towards entire nations in its international campaigns. As McDonald’s is one of the largest corporations in the world, it works to advertize to all people without sacrificing a personal, original touch. McDonald’s continues to keep similarities in its advertisements all over the world in their design and language. Over time McDonald’s is working to adapt to the cultures of the countries they are working in.

“I’m Lovin’ It” and “McCafe” are two examples of campaigns used both in the US and internationally. “I’m Lovin’ It” is a massively successful campaign over seas and it is the only Mcdonsald’s campaign that has lasted over four years. It is very similar in both the US and abroad with some countries using English language instead of their native language.

“McCafe” is a marketing campaign for one available item. It targets specific people groups in the US but its much more broad in its advertising in foreign countries. Both marketing campaigns are not personalized and have a lot of similarities in each country they are used in.


In addition: We put up 3 separate Netylytic datasets to explore each part of McDonalds that we researched. One was @mcdonalds, another was the keyword “McCafe” and the third was the keyword “I’m Lovin It”. The results were fairly inconclusive, which is actually what we expected. Since the corporation is so large that it builds a wall between itself and the consumers; Twitter does not spur a lot of direct communication between the corporation and the consumer, and when it does, it is certainly does not play in a personal manner, shown by people being unafraid to attack McDonalds viciously on Twitter.: "@ajarncom my mother loves McCafe Lattes. Starbucks is not good coffee… but it is there and it doesn't have fake milk with palm oil in…"


John Green: Example of the most prominent author using social media today


Green has written six books. His first novel, Looking for Alaska, won him the 2006 Printz award and his most recent novel, The Fault in Our Stars, debuted at No. 1 on The New York Times Best Seller list in 2012.

He is also known for his “Vlogbrothers” channel started by John and brother Hank

He also runs his own website, http://johngreenbooks.com/, where he promotes another website, nerdfighters.com and a charity, Project for Awesome. 

Here is an example of what he did to promote his upcoming novel The Fault in Our Stars 10 months before its release: he posted the title of the new book on Twitter, Tumblr and his community forum. An hour later, he tweeted that he’d personally sign all pre-orders. Then he went on YouTube and read a section of the book. He also mentioned it didn’t have a cover design yet.

Within hours, fans began to make and post hundreds of potential covers. They also buzzed about the pre-ordering on Twitter.

By 9 P.M. that evening, the cover-less, half-written book hit #1 on Amazon (and on Barnes and Noble an hour later.) Mr. Green hadn’t spent a penny on contests or gimmicks, or greased the palm of a single CEO of a bookstore conglomerate. 


Closing Thoughts:

Based on the findings from our research, it appears that Taylor Swift is more effective in using marketing strategies to gain loyalty and support of her fans. Her tactics of directing social media campaigns to meet the needs of her audience as well as providing engaging material seemed to target fans on a personal level. In comparison McDonald's large campaigns targeted entire countries and regions at a time, and were not as personable. Although it is difficult to argue that one entity is more successful at marketing as a whole than the other, we conclude that Swift's form of marketing targeting the devotion of her fans is extremely successful at accomplishing what it sets out to achieve. 


Further research needs to be done into Swift's level of success in foreign countries in terms of individual fan's opinions of her. Although social media analysis in the United States seems to indicate a generally favorable opinion of her, time limitations and problems with harvesting data from foreign speaking countries did not permit us to harvest concrete data from said countries. Another major area of comparison to explore is the advertising tactics of literary authors and publishing companies. Analyzing the effect of social media and other tools on book sale revenue would be an interesting field to measure against.   




"ARIA Charts - Accreditations - 2012 Albums." Aria Charts. Australian Recording Industry Association Ltd. web, 2012.

The Autrialian Recording Industry Association (ARIA) charts records and reports on the sales and performance of music artists' albums and singles. ARIA is a trade group founded in 1989 representing the Austrailian recording industry, replacing the Association of Austrailian Record Manufacturers (AARM) which was formed in 1956. Charts include Top Singles 100, Top 100 Albums, Top 50 Digital Tracks, Top 50 Streaming Tracks, and more.


"Certified Awards." BPI. British Phonographic Industry. web. nd

The British Phonographic Industry catalogue of certified awards lists the music artists that have sold a certain number of singles and albums in the UK. The awards were originally created in 1974, and since more than 14,000 have been issued to date during the 40 year history. The BPI Award levels are Silver, Gold, Platinum, and Multi-Platinum, depending on the number sold. The rise of digital music sales led to their acceptance as a form of sales contributing towards award certification.


Reed, Chris J. "Taylor Swift and Cornetto form ice cool Asian partnership." The Wall. Haymarket Media Group Ltd. web, 29 April, 2014.

This article reports on music artist Taylor Swift's product partnership with ice cream brand Cornetto. Reed reports that Taylor Swift partnered with Corentto's Dutch/UK parent company Unilever to produce a special edition version of the Cornetto ice cream product. The special Raspberry and Chocolate flavor called the "Taylor Swift Special Red Edition Cornetto." The article reports that the special edition ice cream would be sold only in Southeast Asian countries including the Phillipines, Indonesia, and Thailand for the Southeast Asian leg of Swift's tour for her album Red. 


"Taylor Swift Chart History." Billboard. Billboard Inc. web, nd

The Billboard top charts report the top ratings for music album and singles sales and popularity of songs on the radio. Chart categories include Top 200, Artist 100, Trending 140, Emerging Artists and more. Billboard started in 1894 as a weekly billposting and advertising business. Since then the company has evolved to become the primary source of information regarding music artists and groups in the United States. Billboard has chart history and sales reports for individual artists and their albums and charts such as all of pop artist Taylor Swift's albums and singles.


Helmrich, Brittney. "How Taylor Swift Rocks Social Marketing ... And How You Can, Too." BusinessNewsDaily.com. Business News Daily, 4 Nov. 2014. Web. 17 Nov. 2014.

This article dissects Taylor Swift's presence on the social networking site, Tumblr. It breaks down the website itself by detailing what makes it unique from other social networking sites of its kind. It talks about how Swift started to use Tumblr smartly by asking her followers for help, which is rare for a celebrity's online presence as artist accounts are often run by a management team instead of the artist personally. Furthermore, it tells the reader what they can do in order to establish an online following such as Swift's by following the tactics she used.


Beardsley, Eleanor. “Why McDonald’s in France Doesn’t Feel Like Fast Food.” The Salt. 11/15/14. http://www.npr.org/blogs/thesalt/2012/01/24/145698222/why-mcdonalds-in-france-doesnt-feel-like-fast-food

Beardsley looks deeper into McDonald’s in France and how it extremely different from McDonald’s in America. France is the No. 2 market for McDonald’s in the world because McDonald’s caters to the needs of French consumers to the extent that the restaurant is almost completely different from American McDonald’s restaurants. McDonald’s looks for ways to make itself more French. It “offers all kinds of Frenchified dishes, from the Alpine burger with three different kinds of cheese to tasty little gallette des rois, or King's Cakes, popular after Christmas and sold by all the bakeries. Last year, it introduced the McBaguette.” The meat is from grass-fed French cows and chlorine is not used on any chicken. While many French people do not enjoy the American McDonald’s, the younger generation dines at McDonald’s frequently.


Betros, Chris. “Battle of the burgers: McDonald's Japan.” Japan Today. Web. 6 Dec. 2014. 


Doland, Angela. “McDonald’s Tries a Local Touch With Chinese Store Décor.” Ad Age. Web. 2 Dec. 2014.


“McDonald’s History.” McDonald’s.com. n.d. n.p. 27 Nov. 2014 

The “McDonald’s History” page provides a thorough summary of the history of McDonald’s dating back to its first restaurant in 1940. It includes marketing campaigns as well as dates for when McDonald’s set up restaurants in new countries. This page gave our team a place to find a lot of concrete information from a credible source, all on one site. We were then able to build off the facts we had to go and research specific marketing campaigns in both the US and abroad.


Moran, Alec. "Five Things You Never Knew About ‘I’m Lovin’ It’." Politics City Life. 14 Oct. 2014. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.chicagomag.com/Chicago-Magazine/November-2014/McDonalds-Im-Lovin-It-Campaign/>.

This article gives useful and interesting facts and statistics about the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. It helped our team to understand just how successful the campaign ones, and highlighted some of the more entertaining moves that the company made during the campaign.


"'I'm Lovin' It' Helps McDonald's to Rebuild Customer Relevance." Advertising News & Jobs. 13 Aug. 2004. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/219474/>.

This article gave a lot of background information on the circumstances that McDonalds was in before they began the “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign. Apparently they were in need of a jolt, as they experienced their first quarterly loss of $344 million in the last 3 months of 2002. The article also gives some analysis on the campaign, pointing out that the slogan itself is arrogant considering the tremendously negative health value the company’s food has.


Sutherlin, Margaret. "Would You like Fries with That? McDonald's Seeks to Stay Relevant in a Changing Restaurant Industry." Medill Reports Chicago. 8 Dec. 2012. Web. 8 Dec. 2014. <http://news.medill.northwestern.edu/chicago/news.aspx?id=212611&terms=mccafe>.

Margaret Sutherland gives an in depth analysis on the McCafe campaign here. Perhaps the most interesting and useful aspect of the article is where she reveals that beverages are McDonalds highest profit margin items. This reveals why this is a particularly useful campaign to analyze.


Coleman, Daryl, Connie Gao, and Heejae Kim. "McDonald's: Breaching the Luxury Coffee Market." Web. 7 Dec. 2014. <http://www.mcafee.cc/Classes/BEM106/Papers/2009/McDonalds.pdf>.

This article reports that mcdonalds operated under the name McCafe in countries such Australia, Ireland, and Germany since 1993. These extra counters are attatched to regular Mcdonalds, but are completely seperate stores with healthier(pricier) food, big booth couches, and wi fi

They also bring up the point that McCafe gives McDonalds the oppurtunity to brand in non urban areas. Starbucks is few and far between in rural areas, and McDonalds could easily have the chance to dominate the coffee area there(page 5) They also mention that since the quality is not great, or comprable to starbucks, they should not target young yuppies, as they will already side with starbucks or places with personal baristas


.Ahuja, Vandana, and Yajulu Medury. "Corporate Blogs as E-CRM Tools – Building Consumer Engagement through Content Management."Journal of Database Marketing & Customer Strategy Managemen 2010.17 (2010): 91-105. Print.  


This journal article explains why company blogs are important commodities. The author explores how companies are able to build more personal relationships with their consumers by communicating their brand through the content of their blog. Then, they encourage consumer participation and involvement through feedback in the comments section. This way, the consumer not only has a more personal understanding of the brand and product, but is also able to engage with the company and feel that their voice is represented in the brand or product.


The author also explains that the company blog is a solution to what he calls “exploratory consumer browsing”. In broadest terms, he is discussing how companies must adapt their advertising to the age of the internet. Since the user is in control and “exploring” on the internet, rather than just solely consuming as one would through a medium such as television, the company must “aid a consumer’s quest for information”(Vanjana) rather than simply throw information at them. This approach is obviously much more individualized, which is why companies’ blogs take on such a personal nature and offer more ways for the consumer to create a relationship with the company. 



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