Fans Won’t Say I’m Lovin’ It – O’Higgins McDonald’s Kit is Marketing Gone Wrong

They say there’s no such thing as bad publicity. Yet, the new kits from Chilean Club Deportivo O’Higgins are really something else. Not only do they have different sponsors on the chest, near their neck and even on the thighs, but their back numbers are quite clearly designed like chips from McDonald’s – that have had a dip in the ketchup. If that is not unmistakable for anyone, there’s even a bag of chips with the renowned logo beneath it. Some might say it’s clever marketing. By the look of it, it’s rather not.

Breaking new grounds: But that’s not as easy anywhere

The look of the shirts from O’Higgins, who ply their trade in the Chilean Primera División, is certainly striking.

So every fan will probably think about the world-famous fast food chain and maybe even having a few chips. But even if that was the case, the club cannot be too happy with their outfit as it is touted as one of the ugliest kits around right now. Sports journalist Matias Grez, who spotted it, surely sees it that way.

Being pink is not so much a novelty now, nor is it inappropriate. The combination, though, is quite terrible. And in times, when native advertising is wanted from users, viewers and supporters around, this doesn’t seem like the shrewdest move. At least not for the club itself.

But probably they’ve received some handy extra money from the fast food giants. McDonald’s on the other hand won’t care too much about the look of the kit. They will be visible much more in the Chilean league and now in the media coverage, too. Furthermore, some viewers might feel a sudden hunger for chips appear – and that is always the right effect for a sponsor, as long as a few of those viewers get themselves some.

Whether one likes it or not, the chips numbers are something special that’s going kind of viral. And it might therefore pay off in the end. Yet, experiments like that are not easily doable in every league. In the German Bundesliga, for example, the numbers on the back must consist of one colour, be positioned in narrow measurements and, most of all, may not refer to a sponsor. So, if any brand marketer already thought about implementing a similar stroke, it will not be that easy. There are other ways for innovative marketing, branding has to be coming via audio services like Spotify, via Social Media like Instagram or it has to be in-app. Sometimes, though, a simple scheme offers great attention as well. A pat on the back from McDonald’s might be on the cards for O’Higgins – or a pat on the chips, shall we say? That shirt certainly had us talking; as a brand, you can’t ask for more, really.

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