Advertising is an amazing thing. Most of the time, we barely notice we’re being infected by brands. We tend to notice most when an advertisement interrupts our favorite show or breaks into a streaming radio station. The worst. The other parts of the time, ads have snuck into your consciousness and you’ll randomly find yourself singing a jingle for an injury attorney. Proof that advertising works.
McDonald’s is, and has been, pulling off clever advertising moves for a long time. Sidewalk sign advertisement increases business traffic by 30%, but everyone knows the golden arches, so they’ve had to get more crafty. McDonald’s Monopoly is old news, so they’ve created the McGold Card. Oh, what’s that? It’s a 24 karat gold card, in the form of a phone case, that gets the recipient 50 years of free McDonald’s food.
A la Willy Wonka’s golden ticket, this prize comes with less overt repercussions, we’re sure. Some 17% of men and 33% of women have varicose veins, not to mention a laundry list of other health issues that 50 years of free McDonald’s wouldn’t help with. The healthier option for the prize is opting for cash instead, which you can totally do. Don’t worry, you still get to keep the gold phone case, complete with your name engraved in it.
Let’s break down the brilliance of that. About 67% of people say the quality of a business’s sign affected their purchase, but McDonald’s went one deeper. They created an advertising effort rooted in the archetypal treasure hunt, drawing in people who are brand loyal and also enticing people who couldn’t care less about McDonald’s. People are queuing up. Because, you never know, right?
The contest ends on August 24 and is only accessible via the McDonald’s mobile app, so hop to it.
“The card give away is exclusive to the McDonald’s App, which allows customers to customize their orders, get exclusive App deals and place their order ahead of time from their phones,” said a spokesperson for McDonald’s.
In case you were wondering, for health reasons, free food for 50 years really means two McDonald’s meals per week for 50 years. If you opt for the cash over all of the potential chicken nuggets, it has a value of $52,350. Also, you’re able to email once every day to improve your odds, which are slim, but not impossible.
“This is going to cost them less than one corporate Christmas party. I don’t think it’s going to do anything to encourage the app usage. You have a much better chance of winning a state lottery than picking something like this up,” says brand strategy expert Rob Frankel.
Does Rob not understand how excellent chicken nuggets are? Heck, why not grab a lottery ticket while picking up your mobile McDonald’s order? It’s worth a shot.
With the final days of the promotion drawing nigh, will you be the one who finds the McGold Card? You’d be among the ranks of famed McGold Card holders like Bill Gates, Warren Buffet, and Rob Lowe. How could they ever afford McDonald’s without their cards? We may never know.
“Only the most luminary individuals hold the card … and the truth,” promotes McDonald’s.
See how well advertising works? This went from a story into a veritable McDonald’s advertisement for them, but that’s okay because I’m lovin’ it.
Good luck out there.