How McDonald's outlets keep the locals happy in hotbeds of anti-Americanism.
By Tony Karon,
With anti-American sentiment on the rise, international markets have become perilous for U.S.-based multinationals. But that's just business as usual for McDonald's (MCD). During the last decade, the Illinois-based chain has been the target of political protests in more than 50 countries. Alas, preventing Ronald McDonald from taking bullets intended for Uncle Sam often means using marketing tricks that would never play in Peoria.
Problem: Backlash against U.S. cultural imperialism. When French farmer Jose Bove vandalized a McDonald's outlet in 1999, his compatriots were thrilled.
McSpin: Franchise launches ads featuring cowboys who boast that McDonald's France refuses to import American beef "to guarantee maximum hygienic conditions." Ronald McDonald takes a backseat to Asterix, the cartoon defender of French independence.
Problem: Anti-American boycott sparked by U.S. support for Israel.
McSpin: Local outlets introduce the McFalafel, rolled out behind an ad jingle sung by Shabaan Abdel Rahim, best known for his chart-topping hit "I Hate Israel."