The mass market is (still) dead

The mass market is (still) dead

: McDonald’s has discovered that the mass market is dead. The mass market started dying with the inventions of the remote control, cable, Internet, and VCR. But it’s still news when McDonald’s wakes up and smells it. I saw the other day (sorry, lost link) that McD’s is even using body paint on scantily clad women to push coming to McDonald’s late at night.

Steve Hall has a quote from a McDonald’s exec:

“Any single ad, commercial or promotion is not a summary of our strategy. It’s not representative of the brand message,” he said. “We don’t need one big execution of a big idea. We need one big idea that can be used in a multidimensional, multilayered and multifaceted way.”

That befuddled Steve. I think it means:

The mass market gives way to a mass of niches.

The No. 1 hamburger chain has cut its spending on prime-time commercials from two-thirds of its advertising budget to one-third over the past four years and plans to move further away from a one-stop strategy to draw consumers. The money has gone to “all other media” …

Pepsi agrees:

“We’re looking at the landscape very differently,” said Dave Burwick, chief marketing officer at beverage company PepsiCo . “Online will be bigger … print and outdoor will benefit from where we’re going. We’re taking dollars directly out of television.”

: Important, too: The TV upfronts (when folks like movie studios pay a premium to get the time slots they want) is down from last year. See TV is exploding. [via Lost Remote]

: UPDATE: Seth Godin reacts to the McDonald’s news:

I worry, though, about two things:

1. changing the marketing without changing the underpinnings of the business is almost always a bad strategy. If all the people, the systems, the real estate, the factories and the menus are organized around monolithic marketing, slapping a little brand journalism on top isn’t going to work awfully well.


2. The marketer doesn’t get to run the conversation. It’s not really brand journalism that’s happening, you see. It’s brand cocktail party! You get to set the table and invite the first batch of guests, but after that the conversation is going to happen with or without you.