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McDonald’s aims to increase in-store traffic via geotargeted mobile ads

December 28, 2011

Fast food giant McDonald’s is promoting its hot beverages via a new mobile ad campaign that aims to bolster its Hot McCafe sales, as well as in-store traffic.

The company is promoting the geotargeted mobile ads within Pandora’s iPhone application. The mobile ads recognize the user’s location and show them how far away the nearest McDonald’s location is.

“The rise of local market targeting has been one of the overarching themes this year in mobile advertising, and brands are increasingly using mobile to reach local consumers,” said Mack McKelvey, senior vice president of Millennial Media, Baltimore, MD.

Ms. McKelvey is not affiliated with McDonald’s. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

McDonald’s did not respond to press inquiries.

Hot target
The McDonald’s mobile ad reads  “Any Small Hot McCafe or Hot Chocolate $1.99 Learn More.”

The McDonald’s mobile ad

When consumers tap on the mobile ad, they are redirected to a mobile-optimized landing page that promotes the company’s hot beverages and features the nearest McDonald’s location where consumers can go and taste them.

The geotargeted mobile ad shows users the nearest McDonald’s location

Additionally, the mobile ad lets consumers download free holiday wallpapers to their mobile device, as well as learn more about the limited-time only hot beverages.

McDonald’s is also using social media with the mobile ad campaign and letting users let their friends know about the hot beverages via Facebook or Twitter.

Running a mobile ad campaign such as this is effective for McDonald’s.

Not only are the mobile ads timely – they feature hot beverages during the winter holiday season – but they also incorporate location-based technology to help consumers find the closest McDonald’s location.

Past efforts
This is not the company’s first foray into mobile advertising.

Earlier this month, McDonald’s turned to mobile to engage and drive consumers to its locations via a new mobile ad campaign that promotes its breakfast selection through an interactive memory game.

The company ran mobile ads within Pandora. The ads encouraged users to play a memory game to get to know its breakfast items (see story).

Most recently, the company used mobile advertising to promote its classic Big Mac sandwiches to on-the-go consumers.

McDonald’s ran the ads on Pandora’s iPhone application. The ads used a video pre-roll that then directs users to a mobile-optimized landing page (see story).

“Location based ads can be an effective way to deliver a timely and relevant message, and it allows advertisers to reach consumers who are in a location where they can purchase specific products available for sale,” Ms. McKelvey said.

 Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York 

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Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily and Mobile Marketer. Reach her at

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One Response to “McDonald’s aims to increase in-store traffic via geotargeted mobile ads”

  1. Mark Bridges Says:

    McDonalds ran a similar campaign in October in Toronto. It was on GreenOwl Mobile’s CP24 TrafficAlert app and the McDs free coffees were announced by voice as well as banner ads, and the voice alter directed you to the nearest McDs location. It is nice to see that McDs is putting meaningful dollars into location-based advertising.

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