McDonald’s India, recognized for its iconic fast-food selections and unrelenting dedication to customer happiness, made waves earlier this month by launching the fourth installment of its pioneering ‘EatQual’ campaign. This effort, initially announced in 2020, has continued to evolve and impress, with a special focus on tackling color blindness, among other significant endeavors. Arvind RP, Chief Marketing Officer of McDonald’s India (West and South), gladly shared his ideas during an interview with Campaign India. In this piece, we go into the details of this extraordinary campaign, its influence on the brand, and how it seeks to break the clutter during the festive season and beyond.
The Birth of EatQual: A Platform for Change
When EatQual first began in 2020, the minds behind this revolutionary promotion had a futuristic approach. McDonald’s India asked a crucial question before giving life to this initiative: Is it a mere campaign or an enduring platform? The solution of this critical question impacted the trajectory of EatQual. Recognizing it as a platform for change, McDonald’s India attempted to raise it every year, continuously finding possibilities to expand on its basic notion.
The journey of EatQual began in 2019, with the collaborative efforts of McDonald’s India and Rahul Mathew from DDB Mudra, the co-creator of the EatQual platform. However, its implementation was realized only in 2020, showing the careful and meticulous preparation that went into this initiative. The intention to making it more inclusive was clear from the start, with an idea board outlining potential projects for the next ten years. This forethought highlights the brand’s desire to having a long-lasting effect.
A Different Perspective: EatQual’s Impact on McDonald’s India
EatQual deviates from the light-hearted and enjoyable content that McDonald’s is generally known with. However, its originality is a strategic choice founded in the main brand idea, which aspires to make exquisite experiences accessible to everyone. This inclusivity, a fundamental aspect of McDonald’s global corporate character, finds its expression through EatQual.
As Arvind RP notes, McDonald’s caters to a varied audience, embracing children, families, young professionals, and more. EatQual, albeit different in tone, matches with the brand’s objective to embrace the ‘everyone’ bit and gather them under its welcoming roof. This campaign serves as a reminder that storytelling goes beyond humor; it explores a plethora of emotions, expanding the brand’s narrative.
EatQual’s Impact on McDonald’s Trust Scores
The impact of EatQual on McDonald’s India is not restricted to its unique storytelling technique. This approach has greatly bolstered the brand’s trust scores. It represents the brand’s dedication to diversity, equity, and inclusiveness (DE&I), a cause that bears tremendous relevance in today’s world.
The longevity of EatQual illustrates that McDonald’s is playing the long game, developing an aspirational brand base throughout time. As the phrase goes, “Rome wasn’t built in a day.” EatQual is a critical element of this intricate puzzle, reinforcing the brand’s ambitions.
Is EatQual a Global Phenomenon?
While the EatQual platform is unique to India, its principle resonates globally. McDonald’s, operating in mature markets around the world, champions numerous DE&I projects, whether aimed at customers or staff. This global presence helps McDonald’s to exert its influence in actual marketplaces and achieve genuine change at scale.
EatQual’s success serves as an inspiration, illustrating how a local project can create a global influence, sparking dialogues on inclusivity and diversity in other marketplaces.
Expanding the Menu: The Cheesy Italian Range
The innovation at McDonald’s doesn’t stop at inclusive advertising; it extends to the menu as well. The recently launched Italian range is a tribute to its continual evolution. The introduction of such products poses an interesting question: how does this effect the classic menu staples like the McVeggie and McChicken?
Arvind RP clarifies that these new items cater to a distinct audience, bringing in whole new occasions for clients. The classics, such as McVeggie, McChicken, and Aloo Tikki, remain the cornerstone of McDonald’s offerings, fulfilling the ‘choti bhook’ (little hunger) effectively. The introduction of gourmet burgers, such the Cheesy Italian variety, caters to individuals with a ‘badi bhook’ (large appetite). This variety allows McDonald’s to address a broader spectrum of customer preferences.
Addressing Customer Concerns
One widespread assumption around fast-food companies is the notion of smaller portions mixed with increased prices. However, Arvind RP disputes this concept, stating that McDonald’s doesn’t alter consumers’ favorite things. The classics, cherished over decades, remain intact, a monument to the brand’s devotion to client pleasure.
Moreover, there’s a growing tendency of health-consciousness among consumers, especially the youth. McDonald’s is aware of this transition and has proactively addressed it by developing healthier options. From whole wheat buns to reduced sodium content in fries and sauces, McDonald’s seeks to accommodate to shifting consumer tastes while preserving its core products.
McCafe: A Hub for Beverage Enthusiasts
McDonald’s has developed a niche in the beverage sector with their McCafe concept. While particular sales figures aren’t published, McCafe contributes considerably to the brand’s operations. Offering a wide array of beverages beyond fizzy drinks sets McDonald’s different in the fast-food sector.
McCafe also develops cooperation with recognized brands like KitKat and Oreo, resulting in exquisite shakes that captivate taste buds. The existence of McCafe in more than 300 of the 360 McDonald’s outlets demonstrates its relevance, whether in tier one or tier three cities.
The Festive Season and Beyond
As we approach the festive season, McDonald’s India is gearing up for exciting preparations. In addition to the joyous celebrations, the impending World Cup brings another layer of potential. Arvind RP stresses the significance of delivery around this time, as people assemble to watch games. McDonald’s has a thorough plan to make match-time meals relevant, whether through its McDelivery platform or agreements with delivery services like Swiggy and Zomato.