McDonald’s Is Handing Out Big Mac Sauce Via Multi-Platform Livestreams

What Happened
McDonald’s is gearing up for a big multi-platform livestream event where the fast food chain will give away its Big Mac Sauce to viewers that tune in in real time. The event, scheduled for 2 p.m. ET of Jan. 26,  will run simultaneously on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. Besides the live giveaway, the chain is giving away bottles of the branded condiment at a number of its U.S. locations, which customer can use McDonald’s branded iMessage app to find more information about. The company has been quite active on Instagram as of late, consistently employing Instagram’s live video feature to engage with fans.

What Brands Need To Do
This is one of the latest examples of brands tapping into the surging popularity of live-streaming to reach and engage with customers at scale. As the major social platforms continue to improve their respective live video products, brands will have more and more channels to disseminate their live content and reach a wider audience. Brands such as Birchbox, Popeyes, McDonald’s, and GE have experimented with Facebook Live to reach customers while brands like Carl’s Jr, Coca-Cola, and Geico have sponsored livestreams on eSports sites. All these examples showcase the versatility of marketing opportunities that live streaming offers, which more brands should leverage to connect with their audiences in innovative, exciting ways.


Source: AdWeek

Pokémon Go Has Had Quite A Month

What Happened
Over one month has passed since the global viral hit that is Pokémon Go was released in the U.S. on July 6th, and it has had quite a phenomenal month. Over the first weekend of August, the game hit 100 million installs worldwide, cementing its place as the one of most downloaded mobile games ever. Financial Times reports that Pokémon Go has racked up $250 million in revenue through in-app purchases since launch, and AdWeek’s social media tracking shows 231 million people engaged in 1.1 billion interactions that mentioned Pokémon Go on Facebook and Instagram during July.

For brands, Pokémon Go’s exploding success has presented new opportunities and challenges to reach mobile consumers. Game-maker Niantic and Nintendo have been cautious about opening up the game for ads and sponsorships, but it did make an exception in Japan for McDonald’s, whose stores are assigned as Sponsored Gym locations as the fast food chain became the first brand to market in Pokémon Go. And the campaign was immediately effective, as McDonald’s Japan posted increased sales by 27% in July.

What Brands Need To Do
If those numbers were any indication, it looks like Pokémon Go is more than just a fleeting fad, but rather a sustainable mobile phenomenon that brand marketers need to continue to pay attention to. While it remains to be seen whether the in-game sponsorship opportunities will be extended to markets outside Japan, there is still plenty that brands can do to capitalize on the game’s viral popularity in the meantime. For example, brands such as Zipcar, T-Mobile, Nike, and yogurt brand Stonyfield have all come up with their own Pokémon-related marketing efforts to capitalize on the game’s viral popularity. Stonyfield, in particular, cleverly leveraged location-based ads to target Pokémon Go players at over 10,000 PokéStops in the U.S. with ad copy that specifically seeks to engage with players.

For more suggestions on how brands can capitalize on the continuing success of Pokémon Go, check out our in-depth Fast Forward analysis on the matter here.


Sources: as cited in the article

McDonald’s And Coca-Cola Sponsored “Carpool Karaoke” For A Viral Ride

What Happened
Coca-Cola and McDonald’s teamed up to take a ride on the viral side in a joint campaign. To kick things off, the two companies sponsored the latest installation in the popular “Carpool Karaoke” series, part of  James Corden’s late night talk show on CBS, for some prominent product placements. In the video, which has racked up over ten million views on YouTube in the first three days after publishing, singer Selena Gomez and Corden drove to a McDonald’s drive-thru and ordered some French fries with two cups of Coke, which stayed on screen for about four minutes.

In tandem with the sponsorship, the parties involved are also launching a sweepstakes campaign in McDonald’s stores. Customers can enter it by using the Shazam app to record themselves singing to the songs featured in the video while holding custom Coca-Cola cups with lyrics printed on them. Winners will be treated to an all-expenses-paid trip to L.A. to attend a taping of Corden’s show and receive a year-long reward from StubHub.

What Brands Need To Do
This joint campaign is a great example of how brands can reach viewers who are watching less linear TV by sponsoring digital content and then amplify the impact with a corresponding campaign that encourages customer participation. With 70% of U.S. internet users now watching TV content via OTT streaming services, brands gain new opportunities to reach consumers with branded content that is as discoverable as traditional media content, thanks to advanced TV interfaces. Therefore, brands should consider working with popular content creators for product placement or creating branded video to reach those viewers.

To read more on how brands can reach viewers on OTT platforms, please check out the Appified TV section in our Outlook 2016.


Source: AdWeek

Header image courtesy of The Late Late Show with James Corden’s YouTube video 

McDonald’s First 360-Degree Video Features Angry Birds

What Happened
McDonald’s teamed up with Rovio, maker of the popular Angry Birds games, and Sony for a joint VR initiative to promote both the quick service restaurant chain and the newly released Angry Birds movie. Working with DDB Chicago, McDonald’s created a minute-long, 360-degree video that features Angry Birds characters flying around and interacting with customers in a virtual McDonald’s store. Previously, McDonald’s ventured into VR with an installation at SXSW earlier this year that invited people to virtually paint a Happy Meal box.

What Brands Need To Do
By leveraging the popularity of the Angry Birds franchise, McDonald’s found a clever angle to drum up interest for its first 360-degree video, which has racked up over 4.6 million views on YouTube so far. As more and more brands start to create branded VR content, consumers are bound to become desensitized to this type of content soon. Therefore, it is important to find an interesting hook for your VR and 360-degree video content that appeals to your target audience.

The Lab currently has three VR headsets—a HTC Vive and two Samsung Gear—ready for demo. Virtual reality is something that has to be experienced to be understood. So come by the Lab and get a VR demo to see just how engaging it can be, and understand why consumers would embrace VR content.


Source: AdWeek

Header image courtesy of McDonald’s YouTube video

Coca-Cola And McDonald’s Test Makeshift VR Viewers

What Happened
Two of the most well-known brands on the planet have coincidently started to offer makeshift virtual reality viewers made from their product packaging this week. Coca-Cola shared in a YouTube video how to make VR viewers out of its cardboard boxes in three different ways. And McDonald’s launched a promotion in Sweden where it invites kids to turn Happy Meal boxes into VR viewers. Dubbed Happy Goggles, some 3,500 of those boxes will be available at 14 McDonald’s stores over the next two weekends. The fast-food chain also created a ski-themed VR game, “Slope Stars,” for use with the goggles.

What Brands Need To Do
Still a nascent medium, virtual reality holds great potential in helping brands engage consumers with immersive experiences. But the high price and limited availability of VR headsets hinder mass adoption. Both brands took inspiration from Google’s low-cost VR viewer Cardboard and made their own branded versions via innovative packaging design. For brands seeking to stay ahead of the digital curve, these two examples make a good case for experimenting with VR devices and content to provide customers with added value.


Sources: Geek & AdWeek

McDonald’s To Replace Cashiers With Self-Service Kiosks

What Happened
McDonald’s is reportedly planning to roll out self-service kiosks in stores across the country that will enable customers to place and pay for their order by themselves. Meant to streamline and accelerate the ordering process and cut down labor cost for the fast food franchise, this touch screen technology could also offer customers more customization options, as well as further integrating other digital assets such as loyalty program and mobile payment into this point of sale system.

What Brands Should Do
For retailers and other brands looking to experiment with this kind of self-service system, the first step would be figuring out how to create a user-friendly interface. Moreover, finding the right digital service vendors to partner with would be crucial to fully tap into the potential of such digital integration at point of sale to improve the overall in-store experience.


Source: Business Insider

McDonald’s Debuts The First Branded Geofilter On Snapchat

Read original story on: TechCrunch

We reported last summer when popular messaging app Snapchat added a new location-sensitive Geofilter feature and pointed out its great potential for brand integration. Now, almost an year since the debut of the feature, Snapchat is finally turning it into an ad unit, with McDonald’s on board as the first brand to offer special Geofilter for Snapchatters in at any of the over 14,000 McDonald’s stores across the States. As Snapchat continues to expand its platform and diversify its ad offerings, we expect to see more integration like this to pop up for brands to explore.


How On-Demand Delivery Startup Postmates Is Getting Big Brands On Board

Read original story on: VentureBeat

Postmates, a 3-year-old on-demand delivery startup, has been slowly winning over major fast-food chains by proving it can drive demand and deliver on its promises. Merely weeks after striking an exclusive delivery deal with Chipotle, the Brooklyn-based startup has formally announced a similar deal with McDonald’s today, starting with a test program in New York City.

Although Postmates delivers orders to consumers with or without the consent of restaurants, these newly forged partnerships likely signal a future business model for Postmates where, with its open API, it can create a white-labeled local delivery network not just for take-outs, but all kinds of small parcels. By bringing more big-name brands into the on-demand economy, it might just upend the ecosystem of the food industry.

McDonald’s Tested In-Store Beacons To Positive Results

Read original story on: Mobile Marketer

McDonald’s tested a new in-store proximity program at 15 McDonald Cafés in Istanbul, Turkey, sending beacon-enabled promotions to its customers via Shopping Genie, a popular Turkish loyalty app, with some very positive results. Over two six-week periods, the fast food chain staple saw a conversion rate of 20 percent, with an impressive 30% of users who received the promotion using it more than once.


McDonald’s Plans For SXSW

Read original story on: AdAge

The 2015 South by Southwest festival is coming up this weekend, and McDonald’s has been announced as the big sponsor of the Austin-based media festival this year. Besides the usual business as an event sponsor, the company will also be hosting pitch sessions in three categories in which it hopes to innovate: restaurant experiencecontent creation and transportation and delivery.  Some industry insiders are not so optimistic on McDonald’s first official SXSW debut given the brand’s previous attempts to reach the millennial audience, but McDonald might just find the innovative ideas that it needs to stop its profit declines.