Commentary: Whose marketing do you follow?

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I looked at a newly-minted McDonald’s commercial  this morning about dairy farmers. What a refreshing message—illustrated with photos and videos on the farm—about those men and women who put in the long hours and hard work to bring Americans the best and freshest dairy products in the world.

And then I thought back a few months ago to Chipotle’s “Scarecrow” advertisement, with its ‘beefy-like’ meat and cartoon characters who portray modern agriculture as dark and evil where huge corporations will do anything to make a buck.

It’s quite a study in contrasts in two distinct methods of marketing. And both, unfortunately, are very effective. I wonder if one is in direct response to the other.

I say unfortunately, in Chipotle’s case, because “Scarecrow” does a real hatchet job on modern agriculture. Their ‘food with integrity’ campaign is nothing but a gimmick, but apparently appeals to those who ride the ‘local’ wagon and repeat the mantra that organic is ‘better.’ Let me make clear, I have no problem with people who want to eat that way.

But Chipotle has lost at least one customer—me—because of their dishonest portrayal trying to make consumers feel bad about modern agriculture to feel good about Chipotle.

So is McDonald’s fighting back with a more honest look at the way food is grown in this country? Dairy farming isn’t as rosy and pretty as the scenes portrayed in the video, but this advertisement is much more genuine than Chipotle’s. The advertisement uses real dairy farmers who work long hours, are committed to producing a quality product and dedicated to this way of life. That sounds like the dairy farmers I know.

It looks like McDonald’s is hitching their star to agriculture’s wagon and wants America to come along for the ride.

They get my vote. Quarter-pounder with cheese and a vanilla shake for lunch, please.

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VT  |  November, 21, 2013 at 08:33 AM

Lots of people follow McDonald's marketing. That's part of the reason that the US has an obesity epidemic. The obesity epidemic is driving the cost of health care up. Maybe McDonald's is a bigger culprit in rising health care costs than Obama is.

SD  |  November, 21, 2013 at 12:14 PM

Maybe Nintendo is the culprit.

VT  |  November, 21, 2013 at 12:30 PM

No, Nintendo was surpassed by Playstation and XBOX years ago. It is definitely not Nintendo.

Wisconsin  |  November, 22, 2013 at 10:24 AM

Culver's has done a great job of thanking their farmers as well. Not to mention using MANY of the products that agriculture and dairy provide. (Thanks ButterBurger with cheese!) See their "Thank a Farmer" Campaign that started last summer. They are truly looking out for us in agriculture!

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