McDonald’s Latest Attempt to Flip the Meaning of “McJob” (not just their burgers)

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McDonald’s wants to flip the impression that a job with them is not just a low pay/dead-end “McJob” with one super-sized (I couldn’t resist) effort. On April 19th, McDonald’s is launching what they’ve dubbed a “National Hiring Day” with the ultimate goal of adding 50,000 employees to their ranks.

Ad Age provided a great overview of the campaign’s goals and reported that:

The campaign will appear in print magazines such as People, Us Weekly, Ebony and various ethnic publications, on the fast feeder’s social-media and digital channels, local radio spots, and as point-of-purchase, in-store marketing and on packaging on certain items.

And although the campaign is in conjunction with McDonald’s National Hiring Day, much of the advertising push is dedicated to highlighting McDonald’s restaurant employees in various ranks in an effort to improve the image of working at McDonald’s.

“The creative part is really highlighting the people at McDonald’s and dispelling the myths that there isn’t opportunity working here,” said Marlena Peleo-Lazar, global creative officer at McDonald’s USA. “We really wanted to highlight our crew.”

I am a big fan of keeping it real and think they’re headed in the right direction with this angle. When you’ve got 75% of the chain’s restaurant managers starting out at the counter, the fry station or back flipping burgers, it’s hard to deny that there’s a true career path available to the right employee here. I’m also pretty confident that there are plenty of compelling McJob success stories to tell.

McDonald’s also launched an internal campaign to tap into those success stories last week. They’re encouraging employees to generate their own video testimonials that will likely be used in their social media efforts.

Googling around for more details on the new 2011 ads, I saw that back in 2005 the company attempted a similar effort via TV spots that showcased several accomplished professionals (including R&B singer Macy Gray who equated her job at McDonald’s to her “first big break”) that each aimed to improve their hiring image. Anyone remember those? Didn’t think so.

So it remains to be seen how this will pan out. Will the economic climate spotlight this effort as a company offering 50,000 jobs, complete with a potential career path, when we really, really need them, or will it backfire? Although McDonald’s states that they are looking for employees at all levels, I have to wonder how many of them are of the entry-level sort? In the end, is this image shift just too tall of an order? Let us know your thoughts.


About Annette DeHaven

Annette DeHaven, Alstin's Vice President, Operations, serves as right hand woman for an impressive roster of clients. Known for addressing problems head-on, Annette, who's led by example for more than 15 years, remembers crazy statistics, regularly spouts off mind-bending metrics, and recalls just about every field description for birds you've never heard of.