McDonald's Promo, Case study THE ITALIAN FLAVOUR

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Industry Fast food
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Italy
Released July 2012

Credits & Description

Category: Retail and E-commerce, including Restaurants
Advertiser: McDONALD'S
Product/Service: FAST FOOD
President: Franco Guzzi (Cohn & Wolfe)
Senior Account: Manuela Pozzi (Cohn & Wolfe)
Account Executive: Valeria Galli (Cohn & Wolfe)
Consultant: Roberto Caflisch (Cohn & Wolfe)
Media placement: Press Conference In Rome - La Repubblica, Corriere Della Sera, Rai1, CNN, Incl. - January 26, 2010
Media placement: Gala Event To Celebrate The McItaly Project - Il Tempo, Gente, Rai Radio2, Incl. - January 26, 2010
Media placement: Press Conference In Milan - Ansa,, Avvenire, Incl. - February 8, 2010

Summary of the Campaign
McItaly is the new McDonald’s all Italian recipe created by McDonald’s to tantalise their customers’ taste buds. McDonald's sees this project as a valuable opportunity to proclaim its 'global' credentials by raising awareness of its 'Italianness' along with the quality, traceability and exclusively Italian sources of the ingredients used. Despite their efforts and investments over many years, the company had yet to make a major impact and achieve sufficient credibility amongst the media, opinion leaders and indeed the general public. The all Italian project is underpinned by the Patronage and whole-hearted support of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, the most active of ambassadors for the 'Made in Italy' concept and regional produce in particular. Working closely with the Ministry and other partners such as producers’ associations and suppliers, a media strategy has been defined to launch and promote the new Italian range through an articulated communication campaign targeting the various audiences. The McItaly project has involved all the various public relations disciplines, from corporate to product communication, through to internal communications, public affairs and issue management. In just two months the McItaly project generated a total of 614 online and offline articles, TV and radio reports.

The Goal
The goal was to deliver high visibility institutional impact for this all-Italian project. It provided an opportunity to give even greater emphasis to the mission of local relevance on which McDonald's had embarked as an integral part of its strategy in Italy. It aims to strengthen the perception amongst journalists and opinion leaders as well as the general public, of a company fully committed to the quality and traceability of its exclusively Italian ingredients throughout its product range.

- In just 2 months 573 online and offline articles, TV and radio reports were generated on the national media reaching a total audience of 226,003,345; - 41 articles appeared in the international press; - 120 journalists, cameramen and photographers covered the Rome and Milan press conferences; - Some 600 guests attended the McItaly celebration event; During the eight-week long initiative, 100,000 people a day enjoyed a McItaly, amounting to over 3 million burgers sold. McItaly has prompted considerable discussion throughout the media and online regarding the importance of typical local produce, the value of the 'made in Italy' image, guaranteed traceability, and the protected designation of food origins. The 'McItaly case' has been openly attacked by food critics in Italian culinary circles. These include the founder of the slow food movement Carlo Petrini – who has been invited by McDonald’s to debate the issue in the pages of La Repubblica. The Minister himself took part in the debate answering personally to criticism and highlighting the value of the project overall.

At a Press conference in Rome on January 26, 2010 to launch the McItaly project, Agriculture Minister Luca Zaia was photographed alongside the McDonald's management in the kitchens of the Piazza di Spagna restaurant, the first McDonald's restaurant to open in Italy 25 years ago. An enthusiastic supporter of the project because of the positive impulse to Italian agricultural production, Mr Zaia, proudly sporting his McItaly apron was filmed as he eagerly prepared and savoured the new burger. A gala event to celebrate the McItaly project was held that evening in the same restaurant near the eternal city’s famous spanish steps. Some 600 well-known personalities including surprise guests joined McDonald's licensees and managers, suppliers and partners at the launch party. Two weeks later, on February 8, a further press conference was organized in Milan, home to the nation’s press. Once again Minister Luca Zaia, came to endorse the McItaly project along with representatives of arable and livestock farmers and this time with two pure-bred Italian cows.

The Situation
In 2008, after 25 years in Italy, McDonald’s embarked on a mission of great local relevance. The idea was to offer menu choices based on ingredients typical of traditional Italian food, which their customers have begun to notice and come to appreciate more and more. The project has become a vital part of the McDonald’s strategy in Italy. Targeting journalists, opinion leaders and the public at large, the company is intent on strengthening the perception, as yet only partial, of a menu close to local tastes, which supports Italian producers and features their quality produce, traceable right along the supply chain from the farm to the restaurant.

The Strategy
To create a partnership with the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, the most active of ambassadors for the 'Made in Italy' concept and regional produce in particular, ensuring their patronage of the project and their support for the development of an integrated communications campaign promoting menus based on all-Italian ingredients (i.e. oil from Monti Iblei, cheese from Asiago, bresaola from Valtellina), of guaranteed quality and traceability all along the supply chain. To define a medium-term strategy we worked closely with the Ministry and other partners such as producers’ associations and suppliers, to launch and promote the new dishes through an articulated communication campaign. We designed to target the various audiences: consumers, journalists and opinion leaders; to develop the McItaly brand that distinguishes and identifies the entirely Italian products served by McDonald’s. The new brand, alongside the logo of the Ministry of Agricultural Policy, appears on product packaging, press information, TV and radio commercials and in-store advertising.