McDonald's Launches Olympic Marketing As Competition Increases

by , Jul 23, 2012, 8:17 PM
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As McDonald’s rolls out its Olympic marketing efforts, the timing could be particularly fortuitous. Company CEO Don Thompson said Monday that competitors are increasing spending in the U.S. 

"We have to clearly be able to make sure that our strength of voice and our share of voice is still resonating with consumers," he noted.

Globally, McDonald’s is investing approximately $50 million this year between its Olympics initiatives and worldwide owner-operator convention. 

Thompson said on an earnings call that in the U.S. “we are seeing heightened competitive activity” across the entire IEO (informal eating out) segment, which includes quick-service restaurants, as well as fast-casual and even grocery and convenience stores.

At McDonald’s, the blocking and tackling will be on backing its beverages, which include a new Cherry Berry Chiller, and breakfast, to which it is adding a new banana nut offering. There will also be some promotional activity around Chicken McBites.

In the second quarter, operating income rose 2%, down from 6% in the same period a year ago. Globally, in the recent quarter, McDonald’s raised media spending in France, with a focus on a line of sandwiches. In the quarter, global comparable sales were up 3.7%, down from 5.6% a year ago.

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