I'll have a McMarketing

In an age where traditional radio, television & billboards advertisement methods are steadily giving way to the viral videos of youtube, word of mouth, social networking websites, many companies are developing new strategies in order to hit their target audiences. As demographics shift between conventional to more contemporary mediums-- advertisers must rise to the challenge of hitting their target demographic in more non-traditional methods. One fast-food giant is attempting this and is presenting to you their report card.
In Seminole County, Fla., McDonalds has picked up the rights to advertise on school county’s report card jackets. The report card sleeves will bear McDonalds advertisements as well as an explanation of food incentives in exchange for good performance. Children who earn As and Bs, display behavior improvement, or have less than two absences are rewarded with a free happy meal at their local participating McDonalds.
Not sure how to feel about this one, in an age where studies have been conducted demonstrating the majority of youths today are not eating extremely healthy and hence can pave the way for obesity and diminished health. I’m not sure if putting McDonalds advertisement is something that would sit well with the current zeitgeist. Many parents of today are encouraging their kids to eat fast food sparsely and encouraging children to make healthy choices in regards to what goes in their stomachs. I feel that advertising, in general, inside of schools may be something that needs to be monitored carefully because the power of suggestion can be amplified at a younger tender age may cause the demographic to receive an ambiguous message. “Ok well if it’s from school then it must be ok.”
On the other hand from a marketers point of view it’s cost effective, creative and is carefully placed enough in a medium that nearly guarantees hitting the demographic. McDonalds spent $1,600 to cover the cost of printing the actual report card jackets, factoring the student body, the number of times a student brings it home during the academic year it comes out to about 2 cents per impression. The idea of unorthodox advertising with the confidence that you know you will hit your target demographic at such a cost effective rate impresses me. The idea that your basically bringing home the advertisement in your house for everyone to see creates great word of mouth buzz as well.
While I am conflicted between my personal beliefs and business standards I would have to say from purely a marketers point of view this was very effective advertisement. It has a high percentage of hitting the target demographic at low overhead and generates word of mouth buzz. I give this promotion 3 bees due to a bit of conflict of interest but overall buzzworthy.