When McDonald’s launched its I’m Lovin It campaign, it ensured that its brand’s overall message which revolves around the fun, unique experience is perfectly communicated everywhere.
Accordingly, McDonald’s used the following online branding elements to communicate this message:
McDonald’s utilized the familiar golden arcs with its I’m Lovin’ It slogan on all pages. Some of the promoted products on the website showed the logo as well.
Many images, graphics in addition to the logo were put as the visual representation of the brand values.
- Pictures of the menu displayed in all its restaurants to remind the viewer of his/her previous visits and experience and to re-invite him/her to visit the place again;
- Animated graphics to give a sense of dynamism; yet, animation was used carefully with no exaggerations since “too much movement can be irritating.”
Text and Copy
This branding element “sets the tone of voice, and determines whether a message is intelligent, comprehensible and relevant.”
- Their text seemed as if the website is talking to the customer. It reinforced the brand’s personality and values;
- Their typeface determined the style of communication.
McDonald’s created a Kids Zone page on its website too. On this page, the text was clear, short, and written with funky Word Art type. Most of it provided “did you know” information and a little bit of humor. Additionally, their graphics were more animated to guarantee that communicating with the kids would be so effective.
Currency and News
This element is important because it communicates a live and dynamic website and keeps the customers updated which encourages them to revisit it constantly.
To do this, McDonald’s simply kept its site updated regularly with its latest promotions.
It is the “strongest reminder of the brand”
McDonald’s employed bright “fun loving” red frame for all its images in addition to the golden arches yellow and other different bright colors (orange, yellow, green, blue, pink, purple). Also, kids’ products included more colors; whereas, the goods designed for a more sophisticated audience were presented in white and subtle pastels.
McDonald’s shapes were chosen in consistency with typeface and performed slight changes to communicate a difference in style and approach to service. As an example of McDonald’s Community Involvement page, its golden arches were designed in a way that form a red heart.
Layout and Combination of Images
The food company’s overall layout was used as a metaphor of game with dials and buttons.
Wallpapers and Screen Savers
These elements could be downloaded which provided customers with an ever-present reminder of “Big M”.
McDonald’s did not only brilliantly use online branding element to communicate its brand effectively, but also used “Glocalization” to engage its customers all over the world.
The company was aware of the fact that an international company’s branding must be worldwide, yet its preferences must be developed according to every country in which it operates.
Nonetheless, a typical global brand must develop a main website. To do so, taking into consideration cultural difference, a firm should identify with values that are common to many communities such as safety, style, status and service.
Hence, on its main website, McDonald’s, unlike its various country websites, focused mostly on corporate statements and policies such as people promise, franchising, investors, social responsibility, careers, and Ronald McDonald House Charities (RMHC) rather than focusing on its products and offers.
Glocalization is practiced when the business established website in each country it is present in and incorporated the country’s culture, or an important cultural aspect, into its brand.
For example, on its English website, McDonald’s used a football theme, as the United Kingdom’s favorite sports is football, to the extent that its main menu items were promoted in the following order:
Kids Zone, Football, Our Food, Mc Choice, New Tasks, Community, Offers and Mac.
On the other hand, its Australian site featured images of body boarders on their way to the beach instead of football pictures!
Similarly, Hong Kong’s website “revealed the very blatant differences, of language, ethnicity of people in pictures, and prices were in HK$.”
Rowley, J. (2004). Online Branding: The Case of McDonald’s. British Food Journal, 106(3), 228-237. Retrieved from http://dx.doi.org/10.1108/00070700410528808
Share with us your thoughts and don’t forget to check our Ultimate Guide to Business Communication program!
Follow us on social media
YouTube Channel: Nadine Mounzer Karam
And Stay Tuned!
NMK – Business Coaching and Communication