Starbucks Not Taking McD’s Bait
Talk about “in your
face.” McDonald’s has put up a billboard promoting its espresso within
sight of Starbucks’ headquarters. Oh yes, it also has another message: “Four
bucks is dumb.”
Another billboard, among
group of 140 in the western part of Washington, states, “Large
is the new grande.”
Finkelstein, a McDonald’s franchisee in the state, told the Seattle
Post-Intelligencer, “The billboard placement was
done because we picked high visibility locations. We really wanted to point
out that ordering an espresso at McDonald’s is quick and simple. Small,
medium and large. It’s easy.”
McD’s jabs, it unlikely that Starbucks will respond just as it has ignored
a Dunkin’ Donuts comparison campaign that shows actors choosing its coffee
in blind taste tests.
get a lot of questions on the competition and that everyone seems to be
picking on Starbucks through their advertising and try to reposition Starbucks
as expensive or snobby, and, boy, when is Starbucks going to start advertising
and join in that coffee conversation?” Starbucks Chief Marketing Officer
Terry Davenport said recently.
not going to get into that conversation. We’re not going to get sucked
into the, ‘My coffee is better than your coffee,’ price point type of coffee
conversation. We’re going to play at a much higher level.”
comparison ads have largely been seen as ineffective in the past, some
believe they can work in light of present realities.
Bryson York, a reporter for Advertising Age, told the Post-Intelligencer, “A
big part of this is the economy and marketers feeling like the economy
is in horrible shape, people have fewer discretionary dollars and you have
to sharpen your elbows…The thing about these comparative campaigns is
you have to hammer away at them for a long time. You can’t just hit someone
and then run away. You have to have a lot of marketing dollars to put behind
it and that’s something that McDonald’s could theoretically do.”
isn’t known yet if McDonald’s will roll out the campaign beyond Washington.
What is your reaction to McDonald’s comparison campaign with Starbucks
in Washington State? Is the time right now for comparison campaigns?
Do you agree with Starbucks’ decision to not respond to McDonald’s or