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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)

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Steve Levenstein

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

Basic concept being missed here

The Quarter Pounder stands out because most other burgers in Japan are smaller than 4 ounces.

Hence, a 1/4 pound burger is going to stand out as being larger than most commercially available burgers. This does not mean that the burger is less than 4 ounces, or different from the US weight. It has nothing to do with metric conversion. If they can make 4 ounce patties in every other country on earth, they can make them in or for Japan as well.

What are they gonna do? Rename it the Hundred Grammer? Maybe I need to trademark that.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous

The US "is" metric

The US went metric in the 70's, at least officially.

I imagine that nobody wanted to be the bad guy and force road signs to change along with all of the other BS involved. Plus trying to teach everyone metric has got to be a daunting task. They're still trying to teach everyone to read, let alone understand a new system of weights and measures.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous


why? this is cause the coffee thing almost ruined mcdonolds.

that nest egg is geting light i bet.

Nov 12, 2008
by Anonymous


I find the store kind of creepy.

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous

And the best movie award goes to

VINCENT: No, they got the metric system there, they wouldn't know what the f*** a Quarter Pounder is.
JULES: What'd they call it?
VINCENT: Royale with Cheese.
JULES: Royale with Cheese. What'd they call a Big Mac?
VINCENT: Big Mac's a Big Mac, but they call it Le Big Mac.
JULES: What do they call a Whopper?
Answer:___ ?_____ ...

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous

I'll stick to Freshness Burger then!

Thanks for letting me know that the "Quarter Pounder" burger shop is a branch of McDonalds. I saw an ad online and was thinking of heading to Omotesando the next time I was in Tokyo. Instead I'll stay where I am and order a double classic cheeseburger from Freshness Burger

As for the name, Japan is a metric country (like 99% of the world), but the name "Quarter Pounder" will be katakana-ised in magazines and day-to-day life so any reference to the imperial weight will be lost. It will just become the phrase that can be heard in in countless movies and TV programs from the West. So for this burger bar, the label "Quarter Pounder" is more likey to mean "a burger from the Quarter Pounder burger bar" than it is to mean "a burger made with a quarter pound of meat."

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous

Double Quarter Pounder?

Should it be "Half Pounder"?

Nov 13, 2008
by Anonymous


This makes me think of some sort of dystopian society where there is only thing to eat. And if you don't like it you will be shot....=D

Nov 14, 2008
by Anonymous


No brand? The brand is Quarter Pounder!

Nov 15, 2008
by Anonymous

fucking weird.

fucking weird.

Nov 20, 2008
by Anonymous


beat me to the pulp

Dec 2, 2008
by Anonymous

Mike Green

Nah. I want a Big Mac.

Feb 15, 2009
by Anonymous


so they eat dog? or cat? why the NO LOGO thing? to be saved from people making complains