McDonald’s Tries Storytelling: Nailed It!

As McDonald’s lumbers into the new millennium of health-conscious consumers, it’s revamped its images and offerings as an affordable purveyor of what made us happy as kids, and what can help us control our waistlines as adults. Their new campaign, Supplier Stories, features engaging content, impressive visuals and a heart-warming narrative. I almost cried watching Fred Martinez (pictured above) lovingly inspect his potatoes, share his dream of owning his own farm, and ensuring McDonald’s customers that his potatoes were grown from soil that is tilled with old-fashioned American values. No doubt McDonald’s has picked up on the “glocal”, “farm-to-table” trends that urban-dwellers have regarding their food. Showcasing stories like Martinez’s allows consumers to see where their food comes from, humanizes this corporate behemoth and frankly puts a more friendly face to the Golden Arches than Ronald McDonald ever could (clowns are just creepy!). Even the script overlay is in his own hand-writing. Studies show consumers are going to trust a person before they trust a brand, so handing over the “reigns” to Martinez ensures an air of authentic content. The video is hosted on YouTube, allowing share-ability. On the upper navigation we see links to Lettuce and Beef, also featuring heart-warming stories of American farmers who provide McDonald’s with their daily ingredients. Lastly, a blog entitled “Quality matters” ties all these stories together and offers an interactive format where consumers can get a closer look at the back-end of this iconic, albeit at times beleaguered brand. A feature of the blog is a section where moms advise other moms on quality concern issues. Brilliant! Even though McDonald’s is clearly positioning themselves towards a more general audience, their main staple is still kids who don’t do the actual buying. Whatever your opinion is of McDonald’s (I will withhold mine, but admit to loving Martinez’s fries every once in a while — see what they did there?! Now I’ve associated their fries with a person! #win) they’ve clearly aligned with a good PR form that understands how storytelling can help make McDonald’s a more human, transparent brand.