McDonald’s campaign for its MyMcDonald’s Rewards program kicks off today with commercials and a unique Twitter marketing tool that rely on people’s longstanding loyalty to the fast-food giant.
The breadth of the push shows how much emphasis McDonald’s is putting on its effort to forge deeper personal connections with its fans. It comes just over two weeks after the rollout of the program, which allows McDonald’s to track customer behavior and nudge people to order more—often through deals available to those who sign up. MyMcDonald’s Rewards comes years after the launch of loyalty programs at restaurants such as Domino’s and Starbucks, and McDonald's is using a variety of tools to entice customers to sign up.
Commercials center on the orders placed by a woman who ages from child to parent in 30 seconds of clips from restaurant visits, showcasing “the role McDonald’s has played in these people’s lives over time,” says Jennifer Healan, McDonald's VP of U.S. marketing, brand content and engagement.
McDonald’s has long used mass marketing, but now the world’s largest restaurant chain is trying to pull off personalization in new ways. On Twitter today, McDonald’s plans to engage with its “besties,” as it calls its committed Twitter followers. Fans who engage with a Twitter post on July 26 are set to receive a response based on the number of “likes” they’ve given McDonald’s over time. The move gives McDonald’s a unique way to track its true fans and try to forge deeper connections with them, while trying to get more people to sign up for MyMcDonald’s Rewards. Those who have had high engagement with the brand on Twitter may receive points in the loyalty program.
“I think our brand voice has come to life on Twitter in such a unique and humanistic way,” says Healan. “It felt like the right partner and the right way to engage.”
A commercial shows a young girl stepping up to the counter to order a hamburger. Her order changes as she ages, going from a plain burger to one with ketchup but no pickles. Soon, she’s ordering coffee for a study session. She makes a late-night visit during her bachelorette party and then returns the next morning, ordering multiple Egg McMuffins with her friends—a scene extended in a 15-second spot.
Later in the 30-second version, she orders Happy Meals for her growing family and then is shown ordering through the app.
“You’ve been loyal, we want to reward that,” says a voiceover as animation shows how to use the rewards program. (Unlike McDonald’s food-focused spots, the voiceover work is not done by “Succession” actor Brian Cox.)
Animated spots highlight how the program works, such as suggesting that the Egg McMuffins purchased for breakfast can lead to a free afternoon Big Mac.
“We’ve had to be didactic in the communication (and) be overt in what this is,” says Healan.
Wieden+Kennedy New York was the lead creative agency on the campaign, which also included work from other McDonald’s agencies including Alma, Burrell, IW Group and OMD.
Beyond the specialized Twitter push, media plans include a partnership with Hulu that will suggest viewers scan a QR code or opt to receive an email for information on the program.
McDonald’s personalization efforts extend into the app. Users who present a four-digit code before ordering in the drive-thru or a QR code to be scanned in the restaurant may be greeted by name.