McDonald’s has announced recently that they will soon launch their very own McDonald’s TV channel. The network will broadcast original content, as well as various local shows 24 hours a day, all in-store, to allow McDonald’s diners to watch the custom programming while eating in their restaurants and are being served by servers in their smart-looking restaurant uniforms across the U.S.
The McDonald’s Channel, which will be rolled-out slowly in the coming months, is spearheaded by Los Angeles-based ChannelPort Communications LLC, specialists in technology, brand management and entertainment content. Reality TV top personality Mark Burnett (from “Survivor,” “The Apprentice,” and “The Sing-off”), KABC-TV Eyewitness News and BBC America are now preparing to get on board in supplying content for the fast food network. The undertaking, which has already done a test-run in San Diego, Las Vegas and L.A., is anticipated to reach as much as 18 million to 20 million viewers a month, which ChannelPort officials predict to be one of the biggest daytime television audiences in the locality. Once the venture is deemed successful, after including several interactive mobile and web elements, it shall expand nationwide.
“There’s been an increasing number of corporations—those who are image-conscious, at least—who had been striving to create their own platforms so they can speak directly to their customers,” said Allen Adamson from Landor Associates, a company whose expertise is brand building. “These corporations want an environment that is uncluttered by other media, the same way that many people go to social media to allow their friends to focus on their stories. While consumers are in line waiting to get their hamburgers, they can’t escape. In-store programming is the final bastion that companies can resort to in order to retain a captive audience.”
Participating McDonald’s restaurants will have their dining areas fitted with two high-definition 42” to 46” TV screens that will be seen from 70% of the place’s eating areas. Audio will be installed so that it will be heard from ceiling speakers or from the screen. “Quiet zones” will be provided for those who want to eat in silence.
While this bold move is said to be greatly beneficial in terms of brand building and customer engagement, industry experts are speculating on the costs involved in this venture. Leo Kivijarv of PQ Media LLC, a company that specializes on “digital out of home” networks, stated that these kinds of systems are certainly expensive, and the world’s largest chain must be able to ascertain how it will maintain the service.
McDonald’s executives decline to discuss the expense on the venture, but are focused on the advantages that the undertaking brings. Other than getting one step closer to their pursuit to become a digital innovator, the McDonald’s Channel hopes to drive customer traffic and increase brand loyalty.
“The McDonald’s Channel’s all-HD, family-friendly programming will offer our consumers a superior dining experience as they are served by our crew in their restaurant uniforms – experiences that can be shared with their friends, family and colleagues,” said Brad Hunter, senior marketing director of McDonald’s USA.