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McDonald’s Billboards: Far more Interesting than Their Hamburgers

Arguably, McDonald’s is one of the most recognizeable brands around the world, even though many would argue the product itself is not top of the line. It is, however, still of reasonably quality and very predictable and very fast, regardless of where you go–which is effectively what it sells.

Part of McDonald’s alure is their advertising. In the 70 and 80’s they regularly advertised on the Saturday Morning Cartoons.

However, they also have some very effective and ingenious billboard designs.

Fast Food Sundial

The Leo Burnett ad agency designed a billboard to let people know both the approximate time of morning it was and a suggestion as to what to order at that time, be it coffee, Bacon Egg McMuffin, Pastry, Sausage Egg McMuffin, pancakes or breakfast on a bagel.

mcdonalds-exampleIf they had brought the idea for a Nashville Billboard, I would have suggested that they get a digital billboard and then change the content every hour all morning. Such a concept is called day parting and it is very easy to do.

However, they used a regular vinyl billboard during the summer (when the sun was directly overhead), and faced the board at the right direction. (They hired an engineering company to make the calculations, but we could probably make the calculations ourselves.)

They created a sundial with the shadow as their trademarked “M.” As the sun changed position during the day (or as the shadow moved) it proceed through the various time points on the billboard.

Norway vs Sweden

For most of us here in the United States, traveling by car into Canda or Mexico is a pretty long trip. So we might not concern ourselves with the implications too much. However, European countries are much smaller. A person in thin country like Norway, is rarely very far from another country, such as Sweden.

norway-vs-sweden-mcdonaldsEvidently, for a McDonalds Big Mac the price difference can be significant and it is evidently much cheaper in Sweden than Norway. So the Swedes put up billboard on the international border to let folks know the cost on each side. As you can see from the picture, the cost in Norway was 89, NOK (over $14 in US money); whereas the cost in Sweden was 59 SEK (a little over $9).

Certainly this advertising design is a clever way to drive traffic from one side of the border to the other.