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  • Su Guillory

Advertising that Works: Giveaways


My pick this week for advertising that works is McDonald’s. First, let me stress how vehemently I have detested McDonald’s for years. I just don’t like their food. I hadn’t stepped into one in probably 10 years, but I have a 2 year old who likes Shrek, so I recently broke that boycott. I say all this to show you how good this advertising campaign is: it got me to go to McDonald’s.


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A website popped up that showed a loungey room filled with mod furniture and mod people looking beautiful and detached. The concept, I believe, was that you could interact  with the people by clicking on some (not all) and seeing a talk bubble pop up. I actually was turned off by this. The people didn’t say anything important, and the interactive factor somehow missed the mark. However, there was a link for my free coupon for an iced coffee! And cleverly, you could email it to a friend. One feature I did like is that if you pushed the spacebar, it would appear to your boss that you were working on an important spreadsheet. But it’s not like there was enough on the site to actually warrant hiding the 3 seconds spent there from your boss.

In general, I feel McDonald’s has missed the mark in appealing to the younger demographic as of late, but they’re on the right track in trying to be interactive. For all the money they spent on the site, they could have put a big coupon on the screen and I would have been happy.

Long story short, I went to McD’s and got my iced coffee. Mission accomplished, Ronald. Giveaways are a great way to advertise. Everyone likes free stuff, as long as it has value. And totally free is always better than free with a purchase. Think about your product. Can you afford to give away a few in order to secure new customers? Remember to give them a reason to come back. Maybe with their free product you give them a coupon for 10% off the next purchase.

Just make sure you get it right. If not, I’ll talk about you on my blog!

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