Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Ronald's new hit

A full-page ad in a recent Rolling Stone shows a four-member rock band wailing away in a grainy black-and-white snapshot offset by a funky brown-and-black background. It could be the cover shot for a punk band’s boxed set, or maybe an art-house DVD. Indeed, it follows ads for new compilations from Franz Ferdinand, Ali G, and Spongebob Squarepants. Then you see the tagline—“I’m lovin’ it”—and catch the copy, about the joys of working for McDonald’s.

The recruitment ad complements today’s announcement from the fast-food Schwarzenegger: A reputable collegiate organization has recommended that employees completing the chain’s unit-manager and middle-management training program be eligible for up to 46 college credits.

Welcome to the State of Recruitment, circa 2006.

The business pages have been filled with stories about McDonald’s efforts to make itself more relevant by overhauling the menu. Just yesterday, for instance, the wire services quoted a McD exec in Australia as suggesting burgers and fries were not the chain’s future.

But the general media may not appreciate what a quantum leap the chain is making in its efforts to out-recruit the competition. Here again, it’s striving for relevancy. The Rolling Stone ad stresses that McDonald’s allows persons with aspirations to act, not wait. “Sound familiar? Maybe that’s because I’m someone just like you,” reads the copy.

The bigger breakthrough is the college-credit enticement. Think of it: You’re a young person looking to pack away some money for college. McDonald’s not only offers the pay, but less time in the college classroom, too. While other chains are still relying on bows and arrows, the segment leader has invented the heat-seeking missile.

Of course, the edge is likely to be dulled by all the other chains following suit. But that’s okay. Suddenly, foodservice would look like a passage, not a dead-end. And that’s good for everyone.

No comments:

Post a Comment