Tag Archives: Millennials

McDonald’s and Millennials


When was the last time you ate at a McDonald’s? Long the staple of families, teens, and college students, sales at the world’s largest restaurant company have been in a slump. For U.S. locations (about 40% of its restaurants), sales at McDonald’s restaurants have been flat or declining for much of the past year.

According to data compiled for The Wall Street Journal, the problem seems to be one of age – not age of stores, but age of its customers. A large portion of McDonald’s sales have traditionally been to customers age 20 – 30. However, that age group is now in search of healthier, fresher fare and has been switching their loyalties to restaurants such as Chipotle Mexican Grill, Five Guys, and Panera.

Although McDonald’s has introduced new, healthier McWrap sandwiches and is increasing digital marketing to help win back millennial customers, there are more choices than ever for fast-food patrons. A decade ago, there were more than 9,000 fast food restaurants in the U.S., plus another 14,000 McDonald’s; today, there are nearly 21,000 fast food restaurants competing with 35,000 McDonald’s. That’s a lot of competition for the same dollar.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Poll students about their fast-food eating habits: What restaurants do they frequent? Why?
  2. Next, ask students when was the last time they ate at McDonald’s? Why?
  3. Discuss the factors that millennials use to choose a fast-food restaurant.
  4. Divide students into teams. Have each team develop a list of criteria that they (as millennials) use to determine which fast-food restaurants they frequently eat at.
  5. Next, have each team select five of the criteria and create a plan for McDonald’s to use to attract more millennials.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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Smoking – “Finish It”


It’s hard to believe, but it has been 14 years since the first significant antismoking campaign – “Truth” – launched in 2000. In the classic video, young people pull up to the Philip Morris headquarters in New York and dump out 1,200 body bags – one for each person who died daily as a results of tobacco smoking.

It was a stunning commercial, and a very effective one. In a research study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, the “Truth” campaign has been attributed with preventing 450,000 teens from smoking. Today, 9% of teens smoke, down from 23% in 2000. That’s a big impact for a public service campaign.

The new campaign is called “Finish it” and it launched this week in video and social media. The campaign wants teenagers to superimpose a campaign logo onto their profile pictures to help spread the message. The campaign’s goal is lofty and worthy – to have 0% of teenagers smoking.

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss social responsibility in marketing.
  2. Poll students about public service campaigns. What is memorable, why, and did it change behavior? (ex: drunk driving, texting while driving, seat belts, etc.)
  3. Show the original “Truth” video:


  1. Show the new “Finish It” video:


  1. Divide students into teams and have team analyze the two commercials for messages, target market, effectiveness, etc.
  2. Next, have each team select a social responsibility topic and design a campaign to reach the audience and educate them about the topic.

Source: New York Times

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Loyalty Programs Engage


Open your wallet. If you are like many consumers today, there will likely be a few loyalty reward program cards in your wallet. Perhaps it is for coffee, gas, smoothies, haircuts, or something else. When did these start, and more importantly, do they work?

A new report studies 6,000 consumers and found that 69% of participants in loyalty programs are satisfied with the program. Millennials even alter their purchase behavior based on loyalty offerings; 68% change purchase behavior to get loyalty rewards and 60% will switch brands if incentivized. The study also found that the average number of loyalty programs people are enrolled in is 10.4, but only 70% of them are active. And, more than 65% of people also want to engage with loyalty programs through mobile devices.

Among the top brand loyalty programs are Dove, Papa John’s, AMC Stubs, Kohl’s, Adidas, Jet Blue, and Marriott. What’s in your wallet?

Group Activities and Discussion Questions:

  1. Discuss loyalty programs and their impact on sales.
  2. View the report and Web site: http://bondbrandloyalty.com/home/
  3. Poll students: List all the loyalty programs they use.
  4. What is the benefit from these loyalty programs?
  5. Divide students into groups. Have each group select a product that does not have a loyalty program, and then develop a loyalty program for that product.
  6. Debrief by comparing the elements in each new loyalty program.

Source: Ad Age Daily

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