McDonald’s Not McKidding About Licensing

Nov 14, 2003

By George Anderson

McDonald’s is looking to extend its brand by putting its McKids logo on a wider range of licensed products including toys, kids clothing, interactive videos and books.

“The business potential for McKids is tremendous,” said Larry Light, McDonald’s global chief marketing officer in a released statement. “It will unify all our retail licensed products under one brand, with one brand look and one brand vision. It exemplifies the kind of new thinking, focus and bold action that is redefining McDonald’s. It’s all about connecting with consumers in fresh, relevant ways both inside and outside our restaurants.”

The fast food chain previously had an exclusive deal with Wal-Mart to sell McKids children clothes. McDonald’s also licensed a limited number of toys to be sold at outlets including Toys R Us and Target in addition to Wal-Mart.

Moderator’s Comment: What do you think about McDonald’s plans to expand its McKids licensed products program?

The sales at Wal-Mart and elsewhere must have convinced McDonald’s that it has a real opportunity to be successful with its McKids line. Larry Light referred
to the move as means to expand McDonald’s from a trademark to what he called a “trustmark.”

Our initial gut level reaction to a McDonald’s brand line of products targeted to kids was less than enthusiastic. We can only attribute that to a temporary
and regrettable case of East Coast disconnect.

When we think about people dressing a young kid in McDonald’s branded clothing, we can’t help wondering if their aspirations for the child are for he/she
to become the next Ray Kroc or to spend their life working on a McJob.

Merriam-Webster defines McJob as a “a low paying job that requires little skill and provides little opportunity for advancement.”

McDonald’s does not share Merriam-Webster’s view that working in its restaurants is a shortcut to a dead-end. [George
Anderson – Moderator

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