The McDonald's story began in 1954 in San Bernadino, California, where a salesman called Raymond Krock was supplying milkshake multi-mixers to a drive-in restaurant run by two brothers, Dick and Mac McDonald. After calculating that the restaurant -- which served 15 cent hamburgers with fries and a shake every fifteen seconds -- must be selling over 2,000 milkshakes a month, Kroc saw the massive potential of the brothers' thriving business and decided to get involved. On 15 April 1955 Kroc became the McDonald brothers' first franchisee when he opened his own McDonald's restaurant in Des Plaines, a suburb just north of Chicago.
Rapid growth followed: McDonald's served more than 100m hamburgers within its first three years of trading and in 1959, the 100th McDonald's restaurant was opened. In 1961, Kroc paid $2.7m to buy out the McDonald brothers' interest and in 1963 the billionth McDonald's hamburger was served live on prime-time television.
The brand proved equally popular outside the US. McDonald's had successfully established markets in Canada, Japan, Australia and Germany by the time the Golden Arches made their debut appearance in the UK in 1974 in Woolwich, south east London. By 1988, worldwide sales had topped $16bn and today McDonald's is represented on all five continents from Beijing to the Arctic Circle.Promotion
McDonald's has always recognised the key role of marketing in the brand-building process. Advertising is certainly not the only cause of McDonald's success but the two are inseparable. As Ray Kroc put it: "There's something just as basic to our success as the hamburger. That something is marketing McDonald's style. It's bigger than any person or product bearing the McDonald's name." To this day, a fixed proportion of restaurant sales is reinvested into advertising and sales promotion in every market in which McDonald's operates.
In the UK, high profile brand advertising has been instrumental in building a powerful emotional...