McDonald’s coffee: Can a commercial save it?

I just read a commentary from MarketingProfs.com, on a TV spot for McDonald’s coffee. I appreciate all the little tips some of these marketing organizations send me. But it makes you wonder. The commentary says the ad is a “Marketing Inspiration” that makes us laugh and deftly handles yuppie stereotypes.

I see few TV spots these days, but I did see this one. Let’s just say that when an ad relies on humor, predictability doesn’t help.

But the real point: I’ve given McDonald’s the benefit of the doubt and tried their coffee three times since their much-hyped coffee campaign began about two years ago. Each time, I was thoroughly disappointed. It wasn’t as good as Starbuck’s. It wasn’t as good as Krispy Kreme. It wasn’t as good as Dunkin’ Donuts. It wasn’t as good as Chick-fil-A.

I can’t think of any national brand it stands up to. 

And I’m not even that much of a coffee snob. I usually drink the grocery store brand. The Mickey-D brew loses my personal taste test to cheap grocery store coffee.  

I just don’t think you can separate the ads from the product these days. If the product is bad, don’t tell the world it’s great. Find some other angle. Convenience. Price. Cool cups. Anything. But if you present a weak case, people will find you out and post about it on their blog.

My disappointment with the coffee has kept me away from McDonald’s for months now. I wonder how an entirely new generation raised on premium coffees feels about being told something that doesn’t track with reality?  

Maybe they simply don’t watch TV commercials. 

Or maybe it’s just me. McDonald’s is one of few big companies doing well these days.

But if you want to get together for coffee, let’s find a locally-owned joint in the neighborhood. They may not spend a fortune on advertising. But if the coffee sucks, they’ll probably make you a fresh pot.

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