McDonald’s and Jollibee: A Visual Battle for Market Supremacy

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McDonald’s is undoubtedly the undisputed market leader in the world in terms of market share. In the Philippine setting though, a local food chain known as Jollibee has taken over the reign of McDonald’s. How did Jolibee do it?

From a consumer point of view, it would seem that the battle was won by Jollibee through a simple but effective visual product and image presentation. Of course, the taste of Jollibee’s product lines played a pivotal role in its successful battle for market supremacy over McDonald’s. Marketing practitioners are one in saying that Jolibee was successful in formulating its products to suit the particular taste of the Filipino consumer.

As a typical consumer and a marketing practitioner, here are some of my comments and observations on the visual presentation of these two competing fast food chains. I encourage my readers to present their own views or personal comments.

Logo

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McDonald’s logo has not changed much since it was created by Jim Schindler in 1962 from the idea of Dick and Mac McDonald. This arch-shaped logo, a merger of two golden arch images with McDonald’s name incorporated in the image, became very famous not only in America but the world over.

The Jollibee logo on the other hand was inspired by the changes in its original name “jolibe” to Jolly Bee and then later changed it to what is now known as Jollibee by changing the letter “y” to “i” in the word Jolly. Improvements were made later by creative advertising people including the design of the Mascots and other Jollibee images. These simple brand image innovations were inspired by Manuel C. Lumba, a management consultant who served as the original mentor of Tony Tan Caktiong , the majority owner and founder of the now-famous Jollibee food chain.

In the above visual presentation, it appears that the Jollibee logo is stands out because it tends to present an active, fun and jolly image while McDonald’s logo seems to look just like a corporate image that identifies its existence as a leader in the food business.

Mascots

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Mascots, in this article, may be referred to as fictional images of persons or animals that are used to promote certain products or services.

In the above images, my personal impression is that the McDonald mascot has the edge in terms of “recall” that it can generate. The main McDonald mascot, popularly known as Ronald McDonald, is presented as a happy and accommodating mascot, always smiling and his hands waving always at customers or anyone passing by the store. Though the Jollibee Mascot is a happy-looking image, it is not presented as a friendly and accommodating as projected by the McDonald’s Mascot

Store Fronts

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Store Designs and Images are very important part of the total marketing mix. In this category, it seems that Jollibee has the edge. In the Philippines, Jollibee Stores or outlets are well lighted and the exterior signage is placed prominently on top of the main entrance. These store signs when lighted serve as additional source of lightings and illumination.

Signage

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Signage is very important in enticing customers to visit the outlet. The store signs of these two competing brands are very well designed and executed. However I will favor McDonald’s main store sign because of two distinct qualities; First and foremost is the yellow color of the McDonald logo. Yellow color is neither a “stop” nor a “go” if you relate it to traffic lights. And when you are driving in the vicinity of the store, you are actually slowing down as if you are approaching a traffic light that changes from green to yellow and ultimately to red where you are expected to stop. When you are driving on a “yellow”, it would therefore be easy for you to drive in to the McDonald outlet.

The other attraction of the McDonald’s signage is the big “M”, which is actually an image of two arches joined together. From a distance, the yellow arch is very visible especially if you are driving in a highway where you pass by a McDonald outlet.

There are other visual materials that are being used by both companies in promoting their products but the major or dominant signage that are featured in this article will determine each company’s strength and weaknesses in terms of generating revenues through the proper and appropriate use of visual images.

My comments and observations on the images contained in this article are based on my personal observations and not intended to take sides or favor any of the competing brands.

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