McDonald’s is set to run infomercial

McDonald’s Corp. on July 17 is launching a 30-minute infomercial, believed to be the first in the fast food industry, that focuses on the company’s commitment to the black community.
Although financial details weren’t disclosed, the program, entitled “The Mac Report,” is believed to be an extensive media buy for Burrell Advertising here, the company that produced the show. It breaks first on the Black Entertainment Television cable network and will roll out into spot markets later in the year.
The effort is McDonald’s boldest to date to reach black consumers. The “report” focuses on 14 owner/ operators and the different programs they’re involved in to give something back to the community. The infomercial, filmed in the style of a news-feature program with a female “anchor,” gives glimpses of individual franchise education initiatives; employment opportunities; and community relation programs in Los Angeles and New York among others.
McDonald’s insiders say the program is an aggressive effort to bolster its status in the black community. Although McDonald’s has the best image among fast food companies with minorities, company officials are concerned that some minorities are coming away with the impression that McDonald’s takes money out of the community, but does not necessarily give it back. This is one way to confront that perception.
McDonald’s officials deny that any problems led to the infomercial, and that the idea was purely consumer-driven. “The reason why people choose McDonald’s not only has to do with food and price,” said Sandy Silver, assistant vp/marketing, McDonald’s Corp. “We’re perceived as a leader and people like to do business with leaders and people they trust. This is another example of the trust we have with the community.”
Demographics and psychographics also clearly play a role. McDonald’s minority base and employee base is growing dramatically, and Silver didn’t rule out a similar effort directed to Hispanics.
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