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Leave the Facebook Deals and sponsored Twitter trends to the other brands. McDonald’s is using a location-based, social media scavenger hunt to promote its new coffee drink, but the company is using free content - not buying any of the new ad units - as part of the campaign.
Last week I wrote about a case study that McDonald's presented at the Mobile Social Communications conference in New York. Rick Wion, head of social media at McDonald's, boasted that a special McDonald's ran on Foursquare Day in April increased foot traffic at McDonald's 33%.
That's no small number, and since not all 26 million McDonald's customers are on Foursquare, it was a bit unclear what, exactly, had increased 33%.
With commenters and bloggers questioning the results, I followed up with Wion. As it turns out that McDonald's results were not measured in actual foot traffic. According to Wion:
"We measured check-ins, not foot traffic, transactions, or sales, on Foursquare Day."
That's an over 20 million customer difference. However, Wion still stands behind his results. And he's using this case study to justify more social media offers at McDonald's.
McDonald's may be a large brand, but it doesn't always want to invest large budgets in marketing. With a little help from Foursquare this Spring, the fast food chain increased foot traffic 33% in one day with an investment of less than $1,000.
Rick Wion, head of social media at McDonald's, is a big fan of such pilot programs. As he says, "the bigger your budget is, the harder it is to scale."
With all of the interest in local and mobile advertising going on right now, Facebook has been quickly preparing its own location-based check-in feature. And now it looks like the social network could be close to launching.
And Facebook is seeking the help of McDonald's as an initial launch partner. When check-in to McDonald's from their status updates — which could happen as soon as this month — they'll also be able to feature a McDonald's product in their post. Doesn't that sound like fun?
When it comes to launching a business model, Twitter has been as slow as molasses. Co-founders Ev Williams and Biz Stone are always quick to point out that their focus right now is on the product, not on making money.
One of the potential business models that has been discussed: brand management tools and data access for brands. But what happens if Twitter takes too long and third parties take over the market?
Starbucks may have foisted the fabricated need for half caf soy no foam lattes on the American populace, but now that the country is accustomed to making finnicky caffeine orders, the company is trying to reassert its dominance on the caffeine market. And today the company announced an iPhone app that may help it get ahead of the curve when it comes to technology.
While Starbucks may be late to the iPhone app party, the company is making up for its tardiness with some caffinated leaps forward in the field of mobile payments.
Many brands engage in ethnic marketing and for good reason: it can be an effective marketing strategy. But can ethnic marketing go too far? That's a question that could be asked when it comes to something McDonald's is doing: building websites for different ethnic groups.
The fast food giant has built two websites, one targeting African-Americans and another targeting Asian-Americans. Both seek to highlight the ways in which McDonald's is working to serve the African-American and Asian-American communities.
Pepsi may not be rolling out its new retro logo in Europe for another year, but the soft drink giant is making use of its old school theme somewhere - in new media. Pepsi's new logo, which borrows from an older aesthetic (and has noted similarities to the Obama campaign logo), is now latching on to the popularity of nostalgia shows online and pairing its new "Pepsi Throwback" with 70s and 80s shows on Hulu.
Three 15-second ads will promote Pepsi's new product made from real sugar, an ingredient that was dropped in favor of by corn syrup in American soda products 40 years. And the spots will match the enthusiasm for nostalgic shows like Hill Street Blues and The Mary Tyler Moore Show, replete with Pet Rocks, shag carpeting, and fondue pots.
Which fast food megabrand has the best marketing: Burger King or McDonald's?
Chances are if you're a member of the marketer's club, you're going to choose Burger King.