McDonald’s Interrupting Full Digital Menuboards To Run Lion King Promos

Hat Tip @BradParler for tweeting on this …

This seems like a really bad idea – running an interstitial-style ad for a new movie promo that completely takes over the digital menus at a McDonald’s somewhere in the U.S.

Presumably, given it is an expensive spot and McDonald’s has a Happy Meal tie-in with the movie, this is happening in way more than one location.

This came up in a tweet from a guy named @gusbuckets, a comic and video-blogger. This does not look like a prank, however, just a comment.

Commercials on broadcast and online routinely get in the way of what we want to watch and what we want to do, but this seems like a terribly flawed idea, even if the argument can be made that most people dining in a McDonald’s would be deeply familiar with the menu.

Regardless what you think of the food, it would likely irritate anyone over the age of 9 to get in line, start scanning menu options, and then watch it disappear as a kids’ movie promo takes over.

I did a big consulting job a few years ago for a big Canadian QSR and the merchandising team told me it tested takeovers of their menuboards for brief restaurant promos. Not third-party ads, their own promos for donuts. It then surveyed customers, on premise, whose general response was: “Stop f*cking around with the menus!”

Promos, I get, on secondary screens, used around dining areas and flanking the counter to hump specials and other materials. But not on the main, order-generating screens. Because this is a solid wall and I don’t see counter staff, I wonder a little if the store has ANOTHER menu board array at the counter and its not being interrupted … but still …

You have to think McDonald’s marketing people thought this out, and maybe tested it.

Reddit is not even slightly a good measure of public opinion, but on that discussion forum, the opinion is reliably caustic.

Dave Haynes

Dave Haynes

Editor/Founder at Sixteen:Nine
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for more than 13 years. Dave does strategic advisory consulting work for many end-users and vendors, and also writes for many of them. He's based near Halifax, Nova Scotia.
Dave Haynes


13-year-old blog & podcast about digital signage & related tech, written by consultant, analyst & BS filter Dave Haynes. DNA test - 90% Celt/10% Viking. 😏😜🍺
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Dave Haynes

3 thoughts on “McDonald’s Interrupting Full Digital Menuboards To Run Lion King Promos”

  1. It’s sad when poor digital signage ends up working against a company’s own interests.

    Here in Ontario, I used to shop at The Beer Store. In the analogue days, there was a ‘wall of beer’ list showing what was available behind the counter. Now that’s gone, replaced by confusing and often out-of-order digital kiosk screens.

    So, I no longer shop at The Beer Store. I only go there to return my empties and collect the deposits.

  2. As McD’s moves away from staffed counters (some locations are already touchscreen ordering only) this seems more and more likely. My suspicion from the video is that this location relies on touch and so they might as well run ads for tie-ins while you wait for your food.

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