Employer Branding at McDonald's: Redefining McJobs

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Case Details:
Case Code : HROB121
Case Length : 26 pages
Period : 2001-2009
Pub Date : 2009
Teaching Note :Not Available
Organization : McDonald's Corporation
Industry : Fast food
Countries : UK; Europe; USA

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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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Background Note

Headquartered in Oak Brook, Illinois, McDonald's is one of the largest fast food restaurant chains in the world with about 31,967 restaurants serving more than 58 million people in 118 countries as of 2008. The group's principal activity includes operating and franchising restaurant businesses under the McDonald's brand...

Origin of the Term 'McJobs'

In 1977, McDonald's launched an advertising campaign using its icon Ronald McDonald to create a 'McLanguage' specifically associated with McDonald's. 'McLanguage' involved formulation of words by combining the 'Mc' prefix with a variety of nouns and adjectives...

The 'McJob' Issue

McDonald's complained about the definition of the term 'McJobs' after it was recorded in the OED. The company claimed that the meaning of the term as described in the dictionaries was offensive to McDonald's employees all over the world and that it brought negative publicity to the brand...

Redefining McJobs

Since the 1980s, McJobs had become synonymous with low-paying jobs with no growth opportunities. Analysts felt that such jobs imparted a few skills to workers that would be more or less of no use to them in the future...

"My First Job" Campaign

In September 2005, McDonald's launched a television campaign to promote the advantages of a McJob and to enhance its image as an employer brand. The campaign, titled "My First Job" was designed to position McDonald's as a preferred place of employment and McJobs as stepping stones to a successful career...

Mcdonald's People Project

During this time, McDonald's Ireland commissioned Cawley Nea/TBWA launched the 'People Project' in Ireland to change the negative perception about McDonald's as an employer...

"Not Bad for a McJob" Campaign

In April 2006, in order to shed its low-paid 'McJob' label, McDonald's UK started a nationwide poster campaign highlighting the positive business practices of the company and the advantages of working at McDonald's (Refer to Exhibit V for employment benefits offered to McDonald's employees in the UK)...

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