McDonald's 'McSpicy' Marketing Campaign in India

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : MKTG288 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Shipping & Handling Charges extra


International Marketing / Marketing Communications / Branding
Case Length : 15 Pages
Period : 2010-2011
Pub Date : 2012
Teaching Note : Not Available
Organization : McDonald's
Industry : Fast Food: Quick Service Restaurants
Countries : India


This case is about a new advertising campaign that McDonald's India introduced in the Indian market for its new McSpicy range of products in 2011. McDonald's introduced a new product range in the Indian market called the McSpicy range. It launched a new advertising campaign range called ‘How Spicy is McSpicy?' to promote its new product. The aim of the campaign was to project McDonald’s as a youthful brand that met the tastes and preferences of the youth. The prelaunch campaign involving a viral called 'The Great Spicy Speculation' proved to be a success and reached 250,000 people. Unlike its previous campaigns, McDonald's used social media like social networking sites and messenger services extensively for the new campaign.

The main campaign was later launched in a variety of media channels like in store, television, radio, outdoor, and online promotions. Apart from the use of social media for its new campaign, McDonald's also used several technological innovations to reach its targeted customer base. Kiosks, LED hoardings, and virals on the Internet were extensively used to reach the target base. There was mixed response to the new campaign from customers. While some customers said that the campaign met the tastes and preferences of the customers, others said that there was a disconnect between the new McSpicy menu and the core message of the campaign. This case is meant for MBA/MS students as a part of the International Marketing/ Marketing Communications/Marketing Management curriculum.


The case will help the students:
Understand the importance of selecting the right target segments for an advertising campaign.
Appreciate the importance of selecting multiple channels for an advertising campaign.
Discuss the growing importance of social media in the advertising mix of products targeted at the youth.
Analyze how modern technology tools like Bar codes and QR codes can be used in promoting a product.
Discuss how McDonald's used a new advertising campaign to create a buzz around its McSpicy range of products that it introduced in the Indian market.
Explore the ways in which McDonald's can counter competition from other restaurant chains like KFC who are also launching more economical products.


  Page No.
Introduction 1
Background Note 1
Foray into India 2
McDonald's Advertising Campaigns in India 3
The New McSpicy Range of Products 4
The Campaign 5
Is There a Disconnect? 6
Exhibits 8


International Marketing, Standardization, Adaptation, Localization, Product development, Marketing communication, Target marketing, Promotional mix, Prelaunch campaign, Launch, Buzz marketing, Viral, Positioning, Tastes and preferences, Indian customers, Family values and culture, McSpicy, McDonald, Viral, Social media, Retail, Fast food, Quick service restaurant

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