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McDonalds Japan Goes No-Brand with Quarter Pounder Shops

Quarter Pounder - check your clowns at the doorQuarter Pounder - check your clowns at the door
McDonalds Japan is testing the waters of no-brand marketing with newly opened Quarter Pounder stores in Tokyo.

Generic packaging, minimalist decor, a two-item menu - and not a clown in sight! That goes for the website as well. McDonalds Japan's dip into no-brand marketing comes as quite a shock to those who see the global burger master as the poster child for brand name advertising.




Word is, curious customers are lining up to get into Quarter Pounder's stark black & red shops. When they finally squeeze through the door, menu choices can be arrived at by a coin flip: a Quarter Pounder with Cheese Set for 500 yen (about $5.15) or a Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese Set that goes for 600 yen (about $6.20). It's been noted by some that McDonalds burgers are smaller in Japan, so take that into account before judging whether either set is a good deal.




That's it! No shakes, no pies, no super-sizing, no Happy Meals. Not even a cheery "fries with that?" since they come included with each set.




Quarter Pounder may look low key, but make no mistake - the might of McDonalds' marketing has been put to good use promoting the concept. The "Quarter Pounder Big Secret" campaign utilizes ad venues from viral online marketing to hired hands handing out flyers to passersby.




Will McDonald's Quarter Pounder concept work? And, how long before trend-savvy Tokyoites realize that beneath the shiny new wrapper is the same old burger? (via Neil Duckett and Meta no Tame)

To see more noteworthy Japanese inventions, sign up for my latest articles here,

Steve Levenstein
J A P A N O R A M A
InventorSpot.com

Comments
Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

*sighs*

I wish I could have frenchfries right now and cheeseburger but mcdonalds cheeseburger is so small here.So it's more filling with burger kings whopper meal and frenchfries but also to small here.
Fast food...junk food is never cheap either as people say...

Nov 11, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

Small in Japan?

Some have said the size of McD's burgers is smaller in Japan compared to North America - maybe the sets offered at Quarter Pounder are less (of a deal) than meats (pun intended) the eye? 

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

forgot to say

I'm not in Japan and hello btw.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Shaq-fu

well this is the dumbest idea i've ever heard. It's the Dicks strategy...but without the dicks awesomeness. Give me a dicks deluxe anyday. i'll pay 15000 yen for it. Sheeeiiiit

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

LONG LIVE DICK'S

Neither In-N-Out or McDonalds has sh*t on Dick's

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

you love dicks...

you love dicks...

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Huh?

So does "burgers being smaller in Japan" mean it's not a quarter pound (precooked)?
I'm confused here.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Shiiiiiiiiiet dog.

Shiiiiiiiiiet dog.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

same

I live in Japan and the burgers are McDonalds are the same size as the ones back home. They are a lot more expensive, though.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Uh, how is a quarter pound

Uh, how is a quarter pound burger in Japan smaller than a quarter pound burger anywhere else?

It makes me angry when people write dumb stuff like that.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

They don't sell Quarter Pouners

In the standard McD's restaurant, the Quarter Pounder is not an option. You can get the single or double cheeseburger but no QP. On the flip side, you CAN get the Mega Mac (Big Mac +2 extra beef patties).

I haven't seen any of these new Quarter Pounder shops but then again I try to stay away from Omotesando and Shibuya on the weekends.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

Hm....

Isn't this what Chipotle does?

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

But in France...

They call it Le *Royale* with Cheese.

Why? Because of the metric system. That's why.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

same

they are both the same size in Japan like here in the u.s.. and taste the same (dont know how they make dogs taste like the meat back home but thats a diffrent story) I've been to McDs in US of A , Mexico, Japan, Germany and Somewhere around the U.K. fairly the same in price slight diffrence but its kinda like going to the McDs at SixFlags or something.. same taste same size..

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

You're clueless...

Mc Donalds in Japan isn't about getting a good deal on your meal, it's all about the atmosphere. After spending 6 weeks in Japan as a high school student it was very clear to me that my friends didn't necessarily want to eat Mcdonalds every day of the week, yet forced me to go because it was the place to hang out after school.
A campaign like this will only bolster Mcdonalds already strong standing in Japan because of it's sleek and modern look to it. The "look" and f"eel" is what draws Japanese consumers in. Also it's worth noting that Mcdonalds in Japan is significantly more classy than those found in America. The decor is actually ascetically pleasing in all restaurants
.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

"Dicks"

I've heard "Dicks" are smaller in Japan too.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

McDonads Quarter Pounder

Yeah man, those burgers rock *LOL* :--)
I like the advertisement where a couple are gettin it on in te cubicle when Ronald McDonald walks in on them and catches them in the act so to speak.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

sigh

The shame is there's a hawaiian buger shop named Kua Aina not a block away from there. About 700yen for a burger, but 20 times better. If you're in Shibuya, give them the business instead.

Nov 11, 2008
by Anonymous

quarter what?

McDonalds is so hot right now they could wrap it in tin foil and sell it to the Queen as earrings.

Nov 12, 2008
by Steve Levenstein
Steve Levenstein's picture

The name game

You must be furious with Ford then, for calling one of their Mustangs the Mach One. Or wondering why The Killers haven't been arrested for murder yet. It's a NAME, that's all. Sheesh.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Saw it

I saw the shop in Shibuya the other weekend. The line was like half a block long.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Nope, I do not like it. Need

Nope, I do not like it. Need the branding.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Kua Aina

Kua Aina is a delicious burger experience. Please for the sake of your happiness, eat there...live there

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

No brand? Quarter Pounder

No brand? Quarter Pounder *is* the brand, and even the trademark is registered. It's typical for large corporations who wish to promote a different "personality" using a different brand.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

It's about time!

Last time I was in Japan, the biggest I could get was "big mac" and then the "double big mac." The double is impossible to eat without making a mess of yourself. Sandwiches can only be so tall.

But I fear the quarter pounder will confuse the Japanese who have been on the metric system for a very long time.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

How can a quater pound be smaller?

It is interesting to read that the quarter pounder in Japan is smaller. Do they have a different definition for a 0.25 Ibs? This sounds so much like the question you get asked when you are a kid: "which is heavier a ton of feathers or a ton of coal?".

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Tell me what a pound is...

Uh, how is a quarter pound burger in Japan smaller than a quarter pound burger anywhere else?

It all depends on the definition of pound. Not every country uses the same definition, which is why civilized countries uses the metric system. So if a Japanese pound is less than an American pound, then their quarter pounder will be smaller as well.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

NW moron

your a moron from the northwest that truly thinks your sh*tty dick's is better just because NO ONE CARES OUTSIDE seattle! Dick's is awful... only for hipster seattle douches

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

What many of you are

What many of you are forgetting is that Japan is a metric country, so they do everything by the gram. 0.25 pounds is 113.398093 grams, which is both an ugly number and impossible to weigh out per burger.

The burgers are done in metric sizes, and depending on the country, are somewhere between 100 and 110 grams, which is roughly 0.22 to 0.24 pounds, all smaller than a "Quarter Pounder". McDonalds QP burgers in France, the famous "Royale Cheese", are 110 grams.

This is an absolutely ridiculous name to use, Japan has no reference for our silly measurement system, they went metric in the 40s. We should have done the same decades ago. Instead, we're foisting our system on others...

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

The name

How could they trademark a simple name like that?

What's to stop fake shops popping up all over the place?