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.
Wow. McDonald’s now blocks out the entire menu to show an ad every minute or so. Great design. Makes it real easy to order. pic.twitter.com/GxPTaxdmML
— Gus Danger Johnson (@Gusbuckets) July 24, 2019
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.
— Brad Parler (@BradParler) July 25, 2019
Dave Haynes is the founder and editor of Sixteen:Nine, an online publication that has followed the digital signage industry for some 14 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, on Canada’s east coast.