I think McDonalds may have lost its marbles. They’re out there looking for moms to go “behind the counter and beyond the kitchen” to see what really goes into the making of their fast food. Do we really want to know?
The Golden Arches has been quietly amassing an army of moms — often its toughest critics — as “quality correspondents” to act as citizen consumer reporters. The idea is to spread the message — which it hopes to craft into a positive one — about McDonaldland and its products.
The company is appealing to mothers through “mother-oriented social networks and freebie product sites,” offering to let them visit the farms where so-called “fresh ingredients” are grown, meet the “world-class suppliers” and to look around in McDonalds restaurants.
Then the moms start pitching. Likely this means blogs, chat rooms, and public forums, “to spread brand evangelism from a group known to be skeptical, protective — and, with $2 trillion in buying power, the keeper of the lunch money.”
In advertising circles this is called the “person like yourself” campaign.
“That’s a hell of a good idea,” said Richard Edelman, CEO of PR agency Edelman, noting that “a person like yourself” was rated the most credible spokesperson in its annual “Trust Barometer” survey for the past two years.
Seems like a waste of time to me. The word is out about McD’s food. It may taste good, but it isn’t healthy.
In other nutrition news, parents and health advocates have scored a victory over the content and marketing of sugar cereals and other kinds of junk food that appeal mostly to kids. Kellogg’s Company, the makers of Froot Loops and Pop Tarts, announced yesterday that it will increase the nutritional value of the cereals and snacks targeted at children or else stop marketing those products to them altogether.
The nutritional changes will include a 200 calorie limit per serving and reduced sugar and sodium contents.
The company also plans to make immediate changes to its Web sites for children, including automatic screen time limits and information about healthy lifestyles and nutrition. It also said it will limit images of foods in computer games, downloads and wallpaper that don’t meet the new criteria.