McDonald’s 55 Cent Promotion

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After decades of international success, by 1997, McDonald’s faced slowing sales growth and stiff competition in the United States. Price promotion seemed like a good way to rekindle sales growth. However, in June 1997, McDonald’s corporate management abruptly announced that it was cancelling its price promotion, “Campaign 55,” which had been planned to last all year. The attention-getting pricing plan was to feature a different hamburger-sandwich each month at the bargain price of just $0.55 (in honor of the 1955 founding of the fast food chain). The promotion began with the company’s flagship product, the Big Mac®. Since the regular price of a Big Mac was close to $2, it was surprising that the company’s loyal customers joined restaurant owners and howled in complaint about the “C-55” promotion.

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