In my opinion, the business that I felt really shined during the Super Bowl ads was McDonald’s. During the game on Sunday, the restaurant chain utilized two different spots to promote its new “payment” option. During the first spot, McDonald’s simply said a new form of payment would be accepted at its restaurants. They purposely left out what that type of payment would be. About an hour later the second commercial ran with McDonald’s officially announcing its “Pay With Lovin” campaign.
Running through Valentine’s Day, random customers will be given the option to “Pay With Lovin” as opposed to more traditional money-related methods. Acceptable “Pay With Lovin” tasks shown during the commercials included customers calling their moms, customers dancing, and customers telling their children that they love them. When I looked up the promotion online, I found out that other tasks given out could include giving hugs or taking a selfie with a McDonald’s employee. The way the second commercial was produced did produce that “awwwwww” factor and I believe people were generally touched by it. Effective way to get the most out of $9 million.
Aside from the commercials themselves, I think the promotion is golden. I think some might think that the campaign is cheesy to a degree but most of us will get over it. Honestly, who won’t bust a move at the register or hug a stranger for a free meal? I think majority of folks won’t be apprehensive to it at all. An employee gives them a task and says “free” and they will be all over it. I feel most people will have fun doing whatever it is they are asked to do.
I think this is a dynamite campaign for two reasons. First, customers are going to leave McDonald’s with a great impression. Most likely their day is going to be made and quite possibly they might be making the day of someone else too. Leaving the restaurant with a smile and a bag of free food doesn’t get much better. This type of a visit will no doubt lead to return visits.
Second, this campaign will generate viral, social media gold, hopefully from a couple different vantage points. I imagine McDonald’s already has hundreds of professional videographers across the country at different restaurants ready to document these “Pay With Lovin” tasks. Video to immediately put up on the corporate social media channels, additional promo materials, and footage to use down the road will all result from what the videographers capture. Of course, perhaps even more powerful than what the professionals capture is what the customers themselves will capture. Videos, images, and posts generated by customers utilizing the #PayWithLovin hashtag will inundate the social media world with intriguing content. Friends and strangers alike will see these posts and a positive impression of McDonald’s will most likely form. People who had no plans to visit the restaurant will now walk through the doors…or, um, through the golden arches.
McDonald’s needed this. It seems like a couple times each week I read an article in the paper about the restaurant’s decline. Surprisingly enough, this was a totally original idea that didn’t even come from the tips I gave the chain back in September. I think this move by MIckey D’s is genius marketing that will result in loads of positive PR (it already has). Well played, McDonald’s. Don’t Blink.