Madison Avenue feels your pain

August 29, 2008


These days, it’s not just Wal-Mart that’s beating the cost savings drum in its marketing. Indeed, in this climate of costly gas and food, job insecurity and falling home prices, you can’t beat cheap on Madison Avenue.

The next to jump on the value bandwagon are McDonald’s and Burger King, according to Adweek.  The trade magazine says that McDonald’s will roll out five new ads starting on September 1. One of them declares, “Fresh flavor with change to spare. I do love the sound of a tasty deal.”

Rival Burger King is also launching a campaign this fall that plays up cost savings. The ads, created by Crispin Porter + Bogusky, are built around “the King putting money back into consumers’ wallets,” Adweek reports.

And don’t overlook Starbucks — the coffee chain famous for pricey lattes. Even the Seattle-based chain is using discounts and promotions to help bring in consumers. As a Reuters story points out…

Starbucks employees handed out free product coupons when the new Vivanno smoothies were launched in July. The company’s current “Treat Receipt” promotion offers $2 cold drinks in the afternoon to people who bring in the receipt from the purchase of their morning coffee.

The chain is beefing up its Starbucks Card Reward program. Starbucks Card users, who enjoy freebies such as two hours of daily Wi-Fi, already have received special discounts and limited-time free products during introduction periods.

The cost-savings messages likely haven’t played out yet. In fact, you should expect more such marketing from retailers and restaurants in the coming months, particularly with the approach of the holiday season.  

Keep an eye on: 

  • Microsoft has agreed to buy Greenfield Online, owner of European price comparison website, for about $486 million (Reuters)  
  • The iPhone 3G has sold like crazy, yet has created all sorts of public relations problems for AT&T (NY Times)
  • The cable industry has introduced an experimental political channel that gives advertisers a uniform way to buy time and measure the number of people watching (NY Times)
  • Nintendo Co boosted its annual profit outlook by 23 percent on white-hot demand for its Wii video game console and DS portable player (Reuters)

(Photo: Reuters)

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