A Study of McDonald's Global and Tribal Advertisements


This paper studied why McDonald‟s Happy Meal 2013 advertisements have global and local versions and identified the different factors affecting production of the Global, for a larger heterogeneous audience, and tribal, for a homogenous audience, advertisements by analyzing the impact of (1) market segmentation and (2) cultural proximity in making an advertisement in the actualization of McLuhan‟s theory of Digital and Electronic Ages.

Using Barthes‟ Semiotics by determining the connotative and denotative meanings of symbols by rooting it from the cultural background of audiences, this case study on McDonald‟s advertisements on Happy Meal 2013 aimed to evaluate the reception by the identified audiences of the two commercials. This paper proved, through conducting Focused Group Discussions, that tribal advertisements, made through understanding the culture of target market, are more relatable to the audience.

The study provided initial findings in the use of tribalization in advertisements and a more in depth analysis on more brands using the same strategy will enrich and further proves the effectiveness of tribal advertisement.

Keywords: Mcluhan, Market Segmentation, Niche Marketing, Target Market, Culture, Global Advertisements, Tribal Advertisements, Tribalization, Tribalized

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