McDonald’s Archenemies: Mickey D’s vs Chipotle?

McDonald’s appears to be getting a jump start on Valentine’s Day with a new commercial that employs a catch pop-sounding tune coupled with a cute animated story that matches archenemies with the chorus of “Love is endless.”

Archenemies range from the mundane (postman vs dog) to the cinematic (Dorothy vs the Wicked Witch of the West) to the political (donkey vs elephant) to the mythic (knight vs dragon) to Internet celebrities (Grumpy Cat vs Happy Meal).

Imitation, they say, is the sincerest form of flattery but in this case the more apt analogy might be the “past is prelude,” specifically in the form of the Dumb Ways to Die video PSA campaign launched in November 2012 by Metro Trains Melbourne. Dumb Ways to Die was a wildy-successful viral video (earning 92.6 million views to date), which likely explains why McDonald’s copied the catchy tune/cute animation format:

But according to a Twin Cities Business magazine article, as of October, McDonald’s had suffered 12 consecutive months of declining sales in America because:

Americans have grown more health conscious with more information available about food ingredients along with numerous initiatives to curb obesity in children. An aging baby boomer demographic that grew up on Big Macs and fries is now more attuned to diet as they try to stave off a variety of maladies that start to crop up when they start hitting their 50s, 60s, and 70s. And the golden arches are not very conducive to eating healthy in your golden years.

Younger generations are much more savvy about issues surrounding sustainability and organic food. They prefer an organic beef burrito at Chipotle to a Big Mac any day. Chipotle, by the way, just announced a 20% increase in sales. When they do want a burger, it’s usually from Smashburger or Five Guys. McDonald’s ranked dead last in a survey of best burgers in the U.S.

A decade ago, McDonald’s started investing in other restaurant concepts, among them Chipotle, which is one way to innovate. Sadly for McDonald’s, though, the divested themselves of those investments that might have allowed them to thrive.

Cute though it is, the fact that the McDonald’s “Love is endless” campaign is so clearly a rip off of the Aussie PSA serves to illustrate that McDonald’s failure to innovate may be the dumbest way to die.

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About David Erickson

David Erickson is principal of e-Strategy Media, a digital marketing consultancy based in Minnesota. David has extensive experience in digital marketing and is often used as an expert source by media and asked to speak on the topic before organizations and to sit on panel discussions.