The McRib uses “Scarcity” principles

McDonald’s McRib advertising campaign adeptly employs the scarcity principles of advertising, which are 2.3.1 “State that an attractive product is scarce when it is true” and 2.3.2 “Restrict sales of the product.”


The “I’m gonna miss it” line in the commercial McDonald\’s McRib Commercial (Honeymooners) creates the sense of urgency needed to drive people into the stores to purchase this limited time offer. Over at they have an article “The McRib’s suspiciously ‘limited’ availability: 4 theories” that explores why they think the McRib is only available for a short time, rather than year round like most of the McDonald’s menu items. Their third theory draws right from the “Scarcity” principles:

“3. Scarcity feeds the hype
The McRib’s cult following has a lot to do with the fact that you can’t always get the strangely ribless sandwich, says Nicole Carter at Inc. “Scarcity works.” McDonald’s has created a self-sustaining buzz machine in which fans post online about “‘confirmed’ and ‘possible’ sightings of the McRib across the United States.” If the McRib were as ubiquitous as the Big Mac, there’d be nothing to exult over.”

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