A Comparative Study of McDonald’s Wedding Narratives with the Model of Anchoring

Mimi Huang


Fast-food giant McDonald’s announced in 2010 that they would start hosting wedding ceremonies and receptions for couples who would like to get married in their restaurants in Hong Kong. This paper conducts a study comparing the differing representations of McDonald’s wedding services through a narrative analytical approach. Specifically, this paper examines relevant discourses surrounding the launch of the corporation’s wedding services from the British media (e.g. Daily Mail, the Independent) as well as public discourses in Hong Kong (e.g. McDonald’s Hong Kong website, and CNN’s Hong Kong news).  It is found that these narratives have a significant degree of discrepancy in depicting McDonald’s wedding stories. These differences further raise the question of how differing narrative strategies are employed to conceptualise the brand’s emergent wedding narratives in a unique social-cultural environment.  In the discussion of McDonald’s wedding stories, the focus is placed on the cognitive and linguistic aspects of the discourse. An analytical model of “anchoring” will be proposed and applied to investigate the cooperation’s marketing strategies as well as the media’s reaction towards such promotions. It is argued that a narrative can promote or demote a brand’s identity and position through the process of anchoring. It is further argued that anchoring is an important cognitive-psychological strategy in conceptualization and meaning construction.

Keywords: narrative inquiry, cognitive narratology, anchors, anchoring, meaning construction

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