How Brand Journalism Turned McDonald's Around, Larry Light, TBJApodcast 14
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headshot of Larry Light

Larry Light shares marketing and business expertise from his days as Chief Marketing Officer with McDonald’s and it’s incredible brand recovery. He shares key insights about what works in brand journalism and why as well as vital tips from his new book, “Six Rules For Brand Revitalization”.

Larry Light is the Chief Executive Officer of Arcature, a marketing consulting company that has advised a wide variety of marketers in packaged goods, technology, retail, hospitality, automotive, corporate and business-to-business, as well as not-for-profit organizations. Among other challenges, Larry was CMO of McDonald’s from 2002-2005 as part of the turnaround leadership team. From 2011 to 2104, Larry was the interim Chief Brands Officer of IHG, a consulting role with line authority. IHG is a global hotels group with more than 4,400 hotels in over 100 countries.

Along with Joan Kiddon, Larry Light authored a book, “Six Rules for Brand Revitalization,” describing Arcature’s approach to re-energizing brands and highlighting his McDonald’s experience. In its report on Best Marketers of the Decade, AdWeek reported that “Larry Light, who turned around McDonald’s as CMO from 2002 to 2005 finished second to Steve Jobs.” In summarizing the top ten ideas of the decade, Ad Age selected “Brand Journalism” introduced by Larry Light as “arguably the most realistic description of marketing today — perhaps ever.”

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Think Like A Journalist Quote

“To become the resource, we have to become the influencer.” Advocate of brand journalism Brian Solis

Success Tip

Be more opportunistic and risk-taking.

Fitness Habit

Expose yourself to things that challenge your mind.

Career Highlight

How teaching statistics created the opportunity to later become the CMO for McDonald’s and turn around an ailing brand.

Brand Journalism Advice

Larry Light’s Success Principles:

  1. To be a leader you must act like a leader.
  2. Manage through influence not through command and control.
  3. Educate the organization about what to do and how it will be different. Make them understand the why.
  4. Create support within the organization. Involve the employees and inspire them.

The Plan To Win from Larry Light’s book, “Six Rules For Brand Revitalization”

  • Purpose
  • Brand Promise: brands that succeed promise a relevant differentiator experience.
  • People, Product/Service, Place, Price, and Promotion
  • Inspire, Influence, Educate, and Support
Multimedia Resource

Mobile phone  Flight Aware; Flight Stats

Multimedia Book, Documentary, Internet Channel

Building Strong Brands, David Aaker

Resource Links

Six Rules For Brand Revitalization by Larry Light

Phil Kotler: The Four Ps of Marketing


Larry Light LinkedIn Profile

Twitter @Larry6121

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Larry Light, former CMO McDonald's on The Brand Journalism Advantage Podcast
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Phoebe Chongchua
Phoebe Chongchua

Phoebe Chongchua is a multimedia Brand Journalist, Brand Consultant & Marketing Strategist who is revolutionizing brand communication with consumers. She makes companies remarkable using brand journalism storytelling to grow their online presence, build a community, and gain greater market share. Phoebe is a former TV News journalist who helps brands gain a competitive advantage by learning to "Be the Media". Phoebe is the host of "The Brand Journalism Advantage" podcast and a "Top 50 Podcaster To Follow". Listen in iTunes or at