Ad Campaign of the Week: McDonald's Frork Infomercial Uses Humor

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Posted May 04, 2017

McDonald’s recently unveiled a new line of premium sandwiches. And the company decided to take a unique approach to marketing them -- a new product infomercial. The new product that McDonald’s is supposed to be pushing in its infomercial is called a “frork,” which is essentially a fork made with french fries. It’s ridiculous, as the commercial points out. But could it actually have a positive impact on consumers? We asked 1,000 respondents about their fast food buying habits and then tested the ad to see if it made any difference.


Fast Food Consumers

In Ask Your Target Market’s latest online survey, 39% of respondents said that they buy from fast food restaurants at least a few times per week. Another 39% do so a few times per month. 11% said they buy fast food a few times every three months. 6% do so less frequently than once every three months. And 4% aren’t fast food consumers at all.Of those who eat fast food at least on occasion. 60% have tried McDonald’s at some point. And 58% said they eat at McDonald’s regularly, making it the most popular fast food restaurant in terms of regular consumers. But there’s a lot of competition out there, as 72% said they’ve seen commercials or video ads for fast food restaurants within the past week.

McDonald’s Frork

Overall, 20% of fast food consumers said they would be certain or practically certain about choosing McDonald’s the next time they eat fast food. And 27% said that it would be very probable. Of those who viewed the McDonald’s frork infomercial, 19% said they would be certain or practically certain about choosing McDonald’s. And 27% said it would be very probable. In addition, 49% of those who viewed the ad said they would be at least somewhat interested in trying some of the new McDonald’s Signature Recipe sandwiches. And of those who are interested in trying those sandwiches, 27% said they would be practically certain about choosing McDonald’s for their next fast food purchase. And 36% said it would be very probable.

Brand Attributes

In general, people used words like cheap, fast, tasty and unhealthy to describe McDonald’s. Those who viewed the McDonald’s frork commercial were likely to use many of those same adjectives, but they also were a bit more likely to call the brand innovative.

Key Takeaways

Of course, the McDonald’s frork ad isn’t really there to promote a fork made out of french fries. It’s there to promote the new line of sandwiches. But the ad didn’t really make an impact on fast food consumers as a whole. Those who were interested in actually trying the new sandwiches did seem to see an impact from the ad. But that only applied to about half of consumers. So potentially, the ad campaign could benefit from focusing on the actual sandwiches a bit more, rather than trying to sell them in this sort of roundabout way. You can view the complete survey results in the widget below and be sure to click “Open Full Report” to take advantage of all the chart and filter options.Photo Credit: McDonalds by Mike Mozart under CC BY 2.0What do you want to know? If you need some consumer insights on a particular topic, let us know in the comments below and we’ll consider it for an upcoming survey post.

Results were collected on May 3 via AYTM’s online survey panel.

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