McDonald's Monopoly Push Uses Online Marketing Support

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McDonald's Corp. will mark the 10th anniversary of its Monopoly promotion to drive restaurant traffic with an integrated campaign that relies heavily on Internet marketing.


For this summer's push, which began yesterday and runs through Aug. 9, the fast-food chain has enlisted the help of mcdonalds.com, rich media ads, banners, buttons, interstitials, Superstitials, wireless and dynamic HTML. This is in addition to direct mail and ads on TV, radio and in magazines.


Called the Pick Your Prize Monopoly Game, the campaign allows winning customers to choose from one of three prizes in eight categories, including vacations, shopping sprees and automobiles. Consumers also can win $1 million in cash, gold or diamonds.


"It being the 10th time, they want to give a reason for consumers to come in and play the game and for those that may have trailed off," said Paul Gunning, account director at Tribal DDB Worldwide, Chicago, which is handling the online element of the McDonald's Monopoly push.


"It's a newer concept," Gunning said. "So they're hoping to bring the large game-playing population into play here, and they're hoping to use the Internet as part of that strategy."


An insert featuring a game board and game piece was mailed July 6, supported by a similar effort in select magazines such as Entertainment Weekly. Each game piece is a guaranteed winner, but only one allows someone to take home $1 million.


Consumers can play the game in one of two ways. The Instant Win option requires consumers to peel the stamp from the McDonald's food or drink packaging. Instant Win stamps will have the names of the prizes won.


The other playing option is called Collect to Win, for which consumers match the property and number on the stamp with the corresponding data on the Monopoly game board. Consumers have to work toward the selected prize in each section and secure all pieces to bag that prize.


Monopoly game boards are available online at mcdonalds.com, in participating McDonald's stores and in magazines. The Web page on mcdonalds.com allows consumers to download a desktop application to view the prizes and the Monopoly game board.


DDB, Chicago, handled TV along with Leo Burnett, Chicago, which also had print responsibilities. Chicago shops Burrell Communications Group handled African-American consumer commercials, and del Rivero Messianu created the Hispanic spots. DDB, Chicago, also created radio spots.


This campaign differed from previous ones in two ways. First, McDonald's introduced the option of letting consumers choose their prize.


"That gives them a choice to pick something closer to their lifestyle," Gunning said, "so they know exactly what they want, and it also is a new concept and a reason to start playing the game."


In the other departure, McDonald's bought ad space for this Monopoly game on an unprecedented number of Web sites, including MTV.com, gamespy.com, eMusic.com, Lycos, MSN, About.com, e!Online, iWon.com and RollingStone.com.


"They're reaching out into broader categories for their media buys," Gunning said.


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