McDonald's “Coinoffers” campaign includes QR codes
For many years McDonald's has been reaching young adults and teenagers via out-of-home posters, radio and TV to promote “Coinoffers”, their value program. It was a countrywide mobile campaign involving smartphone app for iPhone or Android that scans custom QR codes.
By scanning a code, the user collects coins and they need to collect minimum 10 coins to exchange for a menu item, but they can only scan up to four QR codes daily. Anyways, a research showed that the customers don't participate in the program because it is related to the brand, but because they can purchase cheaper. Clearly McDonald's has to change the way of communication with their customers, because they risk to be attacked by others price-orientated brands.
McDonald's needs to evolve in favor of digital media, connect with the customers and build brand engagement, not price connection. They made the first step by creating a Facebook page in October 2010.
The strategy included creating their own digital currency that the customer is earning by user engagement, the currency is an extension to the existing program and allows the customer to create a digital wallet by downloading an application from the Android Market or iTunes App Store and then start collecting virtual coins.
McDonald's are giving away 1 million collectable coins for the customers to spend in the restaurants. The first 25 000 people receive 5 coins for free, so they are half way on getting a “Coinoffers” item.
The QR codes are transformed into “pixel codes” that look like fries or hamburgers for example.
They use a scanable sound-code as well, especially made for radio, cinema and TV, also McDonald's distributed coins for various media – banners, Facebook ads, mobile banners, posters, digital screens in buses, trains and on their You Tube and Facebook pages.
The campaign was planned to last six weeks, but all the digital coins were collected in only 26 days, so McDonald's had to stop it 2 weeks earlier. The application reached number 1 on the Android Market and the iTunes App Store in days, and it became the fastest downloaded app in Denmark ever.
191 417 Apps were downloaded which is 3,5% of the entire Danish population, considering that less than 50% have smartphone.
During the campaign McDonald's reached over 2 million responses and 100 000 likes on Facebook, the You Tube channel hit 280 000 views and more than 450 000 unofficial views created by customers.
Everytime a customer spends 10 digital coins, they actually pay 19,27 Danish Kroner, which is almost 2 Krones investment return.