McDonald’s, Marketing and Mass Appeal — The Church and the Media

McDonald’s, Marketing and Mass Appeal — The Church and the Media June 19, 2016

McDonalds_Golden_ArchesOver at CatholicVote, I’ve written a musing on the ways in which the sacred world mirrors the secular, especially in terms of how we get the Word out to people, and then how we get them into the pews.  This convergence is something our Evangelical brethren have enthusiastically embraced, while we treat the notion of marketing the Church like it smells bad.

But, the Apostles made use of whatever they had, be it word of mouth, the written word or the Roman roads, to spread the Gospel. We can do no less.

Click here to read the whole thing, but here’s a taste …

In a way, you can see the Catholic Church as McDonald’s, and the mainline Protestant churches as the other established chains (Burger King, Wendy’s, etc.). Nondenominational churches and megachurches can be seen as the newer entries into the market — including independent entities that grow and evolve into franchises (like Saddleback Church, which has spread from Southern California to Europe and Asia).

Now, how do rising restaurants capture market share from the big players? They update their menus to adapt to changing tastes (and, as they’re new, they don’t have to worry about maintaining any traditional items held over from earlier eras), and they work really hard on customer acquisition, customer retention and customer service.

You might want a good old McDonald’s Big Mac, fries and a Coke, but hey, this new place has a more attractive, comfortable restaurant; it has a delivery service; it brings food to your table; its drive-through has video screens (and you can hear and understand the order-takers); the playground is far superior; there’s more parking; and best of all, going there makes you look cool and hip and cutting edge.

After all, only families with little kids and the olds still go to McDonald’s, right?

For examples, check out Catholics Come Home’s Evangomercials, like this one:

These are good, but they’re too few and far between. We have souls to save, and they live surrounded by media. If we don’t make maximum use of it, we’ll have to answer for it one day.

Image: Wikimedia Commons

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