Earth to It's 2009

January 6, 2009

Last night I had an urge for a delicious caramel Sunday from McDonalds. Where better to find nutritional facts about MickyD's than So I visited and Ba da bum bum bum... I'm *not* loving it.

Surgeon General's Warning: The home page may induce nausea and a loss of appetite. In other words, you might be seeing that Happy Meal again...

The McDonalds Landing Page Ingredients: a flash landing page, fixed-width tables used for layout, low-quality images, and a navigation bar outclassed by most homemade DVD menus.


It's 2009. Not 1999. Your website is as fashionable as trans fats and you are losing value because of it.

You're #17 in the world with ad spending. The world. 1.7 billion dollars on advertising a year. You're #1 amongst quick-serve restaurants in online marketing spending.  That's 10 million display ads a day. These are impressive numbers.

Your website gets over a million unique visitors each month and you greet your visitors with a severely outdated, aesthetically nauseating, dysfunctional website. Your web strategy is lacking balance: extravagant ad spending is driving traffic to a website that tarnishes your brand when it should be polishing it.  Large online ad buys demand a well designed website.

Let's try and put this in perspective. Imagine your monumental restaurant that opened on Times Square some 7 years ago. Sure, this isn't your busiest location in the world, but even if it were, it would see less visitors in a month than your website. Now imagine the owners of the Times Square location refused to clean or maintain it since it opened. This is what your website is doing for your brand.

Here are some quick ideas to improve your internet marketing strategy:

  • Find a new internet team. It is hard to tell if the current site was designed by the CEO’s nephew or by an expensive, outdated ad agency that doesn’t get interactive. Either way, fire them. Find an agency or design firm that understands the web.
  • Build a website for 2009. You're going to have a hard time convincing the iPhone generation McDonalds is worthy of "lovin' it" when your mobile site is designed for the WAP/WML phones of the early 2000s and lacks interesting content like nutritional facts.  Get rid of the tables, inaccessible flash, and put as much effort in carrying your brand properly on your site as you do in your commercials.
  • Pay attention to your social streams. There are 3 McDonalds Facebook Pages that collectively have 1.5 million fans and they aren't monitored. These are being used host radical political messages, and offensive photos and comments right beside of your golden arches. Get more involved with Twitter. Join the online conversation.
  • Get some dynamic content!  In the News section of your current site, there are literally no stories from 2008. You should even take the next step and add a Blog to your site.  Give your famous brand an online voice by blogging about corporate news, trends, interesting facts, and McDonald's happenings.  By putting your site on a Content Management System (looks like it currently isn't), you could easily have dynamic content on your site.

As we move into a new year, @McDonalds, consider bringing your website along for the ride. The internet is quite nice in 2009. With an improved site you'll see million of people a month smile... and we all know that's what you love.


 Robert S. Robbins's avatar
Robert S. Robbins

McDonalds is an evil company that runs sweatshops. Don't give them any free advice on how to improve their business. I would like to see their business fail.

 Matt Hodder's avatar
Matt Hodder

The Japan site is good for a flash site:

The UK site is at least somewhat up to today's web standards (and no flash!):"

 Joel's avatar


I don't think I agree. Money they *don't* make because they haven't optimized their site is still money lost.

Considering the amount of money they spend on advertising they really should do a better job with their site. It would be a great opportunity for them to improve their appearance and reputation.

 Jimeee's avatar

Although I understand your point - McDonalds doesn't need to change a single thing. Perhaps it should - but it doesn't NEED to.

Why? - because they would still make a massive shit load of money if the into page of the site was a picture of Ronald McDonald masturbating.

That is McDonalds - it's one of these rare companies who's sales cannot be affected negatively by a shitty website. Same goes for Coca Cola for example.

 Amir's avatar

McDonald's should hire you now!

 Bob H's avatar
Bob H

Mickey D's is old skool.

Having a cool web page would be like up-dating a pair of Chuck Taylors.

Leave a comment