The McDonald's Case Study

Problem: Every year during Ramadan, McDonald’s faces a drop, in sales in Saudi Arabia. Promoting food and beverages during the holy month of Ramadan, was difficult for a global brand like McDonald’s as they didn’t want to tempt people during their fasting ritual.

Challenge for McDonald’s: To keep promoting their products while also communicating that they (McDonald’s) understand the significance of the holy month and respect it as well as to overcome the hurdle of the usual sales drop during that month.

Insight: Although people who fast do not enjoy being tempted by these food advertisements which they would come across inevitably- in the streets, their Social media feed, etc. they definitely liked to take a peek at it.

Solution: Based on this insight, McDonald’s decided to go ahead and continue with their Digital OOH advertisements without really showing it. Everything was smartly hidden in plain sight during the hours of fasting and then revealed only at night during the time of iftar. They came up with an idea to just show silhouettes or pixelated images of their products on their digital billboards

Results: people of Saudi Arabia responded positively to this unique idea by McDonald’s and took it to social media to praise their innovative advertisement. This was obviously reflected in their sales and instead of the usual dip, the sales started increasing every year, noting a 10% increase in the year 2016, 7% in 2016-17 and again a 10% increase in 2017-18.

Overall, this campaign was a huge success.