On McDonald's, Gilmore Girls & more

In this episode of Branding Bites, our strategy director, Kacha Azema, and our design director, Shawn McConnell, sat down to share their insights on what’s happening in restaurant marketing this week.
Tune in to see Kacha and Shawn answer topical questions including:

  • Is McDonald’s goal of 5,000 pieces of content realistic for the rest of us? (at 0:13)
  • Should restaurants participate in the messaging sticker trend? (at 1:05)
  • Was Netflix’s Gilmore Girls promotion with local coffee shops a good marketing strategy? (at 1:56)
  • And don’t forget our favorite segment: the Bittle Bites lightning round (at 3:00)

Rather read than watch? Keep scrolling for the full transcript.

// Transcript

Kacha: Good morning everybody, I’m Kacha, I am the strategy director here at Skidmore Studio and welcome to Branding Bites.

Shawn: Hi, I’m Shawn, the design director and we’ve got a lot of great stuff for you today, so let’s go ahead and get started. Kacha, I’m going to leave the first question to you.

Kacha: Okay.

Shawn:  McDonald’s made news recently for it’s goal to publish 5,000 pieces of content in 2016.

Kacha: Wow.

Shawn: That’s a lot. That sounds like a lot.

Kacha: Yes. That is a lot. 5,000 pieces of content from McDonald’s. That’s probably too much in my opinion, and it falls into that content marketing, and then we all go, “Well what is content marketing, and should I do it?”

Shawn: Sure.

Kacha: Typical restaurant group, if you can be unique, if you can be valuable, and you can drive sales, maybe give it a shot, but unique, can only your restaurant do it? Valuable, is it worth somebody’s time to consume? Driving sales, if they consume this content, does it actually think that then the might come to your restaurant?

Shawn: I think the only thing I’d like to add, absolutely I agree is that if you’re going to do those three things, on top of that, be clever, be creative. Make it something people won’t get tired of or fatigued from. Thirteen pieces of content a day is a lot, so use your time wisely.

Kacha: Absolutely. I got a question for you. Ready?

Shawn: Ready.

Kacha: Okay. Messaging stickers.

Shawn: Yes!

Kacha: They have been gaining popularity with Gen Y and Gen Z since the latest iOS update. The question is, should restaurants get in on this?

Shawn: Absolutely. Without a doubt, and it picks up on our last question. I think if you can be fun and clever and show kids a new way to use a text message, that also connects to your brand that’s a win for everyone. Kids want to feel like they’re on the forefront of something great, and if they can share something with their friends, that nobody else has seen yet – That’s a win for both of you.

Kacha: Now, I think you agree though that let’s not be too brand-y and marketing-y about this, right?

Shawn: Absolutely not.

Kacha: If this is branded stuff I’m sending you, I don’t want to look at that. I don’t want to be a shill for your brand, but if it fits in with the messages I might send to my friends?

Shawn: Yes. If it can plus them up in some way. If it can make them clever, it can make me look clever, I want it.

Kacha: Excellent. Good.

Shawn: Great. I have another question for you.

Kacha: Okay.

Shawn: Recently Netflix partnered with local coffee shops to promote the upcoming release of Gilmore Girls. Good idea?

Kacha: Yes. Extraordinarily good idea. I mean, I’m a closet Gilmore Girls fan.

Shawn: Oh boy.

Kacha: I hate to admit it. But, Luke’s Diner transformation, it’s fun! It has a sense of urgency. I need to go there and experience it, and I’m taking selfies and picture of things and sending them to my friends, and your restaurant gets exposure. People have a good time.

Shawn: I completely agree again. With the exception of not a closet Gilmore Girls fan, or a public one. Good for them. I think it’s a brilliant idea. I love it. I wish the Double R Diner was doing it for the release of Twin Peaks next year, but beyond that I love this idea so much. I remember 7-11 did this a few years ago with the release of The Simpson’s Movie, and it was amazing.

Kacha: If your restaurant can capitalize on a current trend, for a limited time. To draw attention and traffic? Sounds like a fun idea, right?

Shawn: Without a doubt.

Kacha: Absolutely.

Shawn: Great. All right let’s move on to our new top secret segment.

Kacha: Oh!

Shawn: Ready for this?

Kacha: Yes. What is this?

Shawn: We’ve got quick questions in here. We’re going to answer quickly, thumbs up, thumbs down.

Kacha: Great.

Shawn: I really don’t know what to expect. You ready?

Kacha: I’m ready.

Shawn: It’s like Christmas morning. All right. Presidential promotions?

Kacha: No. Politics and food?

Shawn: Okay. Yeah. You swayed me. Veterans’ Day promotions?

Kacha: Done respectfully.

Shawn: I’m going to give this one a maybe. It’s going to be tough to do that respectfully.

Kacha: Fair enough.

Shawn: Not just feel like you’re …

Kacha: Yup. Agreed.

Shawn: Loyalty programs?

Kacha: Yes! They drive traffic, but I don’t know how great they are for users. Sometimes they feel like a chore.

Shawn: If they work for that user, thumbs up.

Kacha: Okay.

Shawn: Don’t give me any homework.

Kacha: Yeah, no homework.

Shawn: Pick 2 style ordering?

Kacha: Pick 2. Yeah, on a date? It’s fun.

Shawn: Okay, McDonald’s pick 2 for 2, maybe …

Kacha: Oh. No. Sit down restaurants.

Shawn: McDonald’s?

Kacha: Not QSR. What about you?

Shawn: It can work for both, I’m going to give it a maybe.

Kacha: Okay.

Shawn: Ordering by chatbot?

Kacha: After it’s matured, yes. I don’t know if we’re there yet. Maybe Taco Bell can pull it off?

Shawn: If anyone can, Taco Bell can. I’m going to give it a solid, maybe. I don’t love this idea.

Kacha: Okay.

Shawn: Maybe I’ll warm up to it.

Kacha: All right. Sounds good.

Shawn: Thank you very much.

Kacha: This has been Branding Bites for this week. If you have any questions, please hit us up @Skidmore Studio on Twitter, and we’ll be happy to answer them next week.

Shawn: Thank you.