CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- McDonald's Corp. is introducing its newest McCafe beverage -- an espresso-based drink called Caramel Mocha -- by launching a scavenger hunt.
The scavenger hunt will take place in nine cities -- Atlanta, Chicago, Cincinnati, Dallas, Los Angeles, New Haven, Conn., Salt Lake City, Tampa Bay, Fla., and Washington -- starting Nov. 16 and will take place throughout the week.
McDonald's will hide three giant McCafe coffee cups throughout each city and will use social-media channels -- like @McDonalds and @McCafeyourday on Twitter -- to distribute clues on the cups' whereabouts. The first person to find a cup will be met by a McDonald's representative and receive a year's worth of free McCafe beverages. The next 100 people in each city to find a cup will get a card for a free small-sized McCafe beverage.
This isn't the first time for the scavenger-hunt idea. "There were quite a few local markets, like Cincinnati, who have done the scavenger hunt idea, and they were extremely successful. This is something we've borrowed from our local and regional markets, and we've taken it and put it under our national umbrella," said Jessica Rau, program manager at McDonald's for this campaign. Cincinnati was an early scavenger-hunt adopter, producing the promotion for McCafe's Smoothies and Frappes.
In addition to the @McDonalds and @McCafeyourday Twitter handles, all nine participating markets will be using their local Twitter handles and Facebook pages -- most of which were established prior to this promotion -- to communicate the clues.
McDonald's will be working with its local public relations agencies to manage the local Twitter handles as well as pitch local media outlets to generate buzz. But it will not be using promoted tweets or paid Facebook deals. Interpublic Group of Cos.' Golin Harris, who worked with McDonald's on the scavenger hunt, is the fast feeder's national public-relations agency.
On why these nine markets were chosen, Ms. Rau said: "We looked to see who had established Twitter handles already. We also wanted to get the ones that would get the broadest reach, looking at the markets to make sure we're getting as much coverage and as much bang for our buck as we can. We're also trying to get representation across the country so we can really truly say we're trying to do this national scavenger hunt."
Ms. Rau added that New Haven did not have an established Twitter handle but had a Facebook following and a strong media market.
As for the possibility of future scavenger hunts, Ms. Rau said, "We're going to take a look and see how this program works out. It had great success on a local level and we're hoping to have the same results on a national level, so stay tuned."