McDonald’s puts location at core of iTunes Radio launch campaign


McDonald’s tries iTunes Radio

After significantly investing in Apples iAd in the past, McDonalds has rolled out a new campaign for iTunes Radio with the sole purpose of driving in-store traffic.

McDonalds has been at the forefront of mobile advertising for quite some time and has tested a number of different ad units and formats in the past, but has made iAds in particular a go-to tactic. The ads are running within Apples new built-in iTunes Radio service that is available in the iOS 7 software.

Serving ads through radio streaming services allows marketers to target specific music stations, said Shuli Lowy, marketing director atPing Mobile, Beverly Hills, CA.

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This allows brands to add on an element of demo targeting by placing ads on stations that personify the music their target audience listens to, she said.

For example, McDonalds historically gears towards a younger demographic and would therefore likely place ads on stations that play pop music which is popular amongst their target audience.

Ms. Lowy is not associated with McDonalds. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

McDonalds did not respond to press inquiries.

Driving foot traffic
McDonalds is running interstitial audio ads that promote its new southwest chicken McWrap.

As the audio ad plays, copy encourages consumers to tap on the ad to find a nearby location.

The McDonald’s ad

A click-through on the ad prompts a full-page ad to pull up, and a call-to-action encourages another click to begin finding a store.

From there, a map pulls up and consumers can either type in their ZIP code or allow the ad to use the mobile devices GPS to find stores.

McDonald’s locations on a map

A search marks McDonalds locations with a flag on a map, and consumers can click on the information button next to each location for the specific restaurants address and phone number.

Click-to-call is also enabled within the ad so that consumers can call the nearest store directly.

QSRs such as McDonalds have invested in mobile advertising for quite some time, and as of recently are using different tactics to play up the location element to drive in-store foot traffic.

For example, Jack in the Box recently rolled out a campaign that eliminated a landing page with a store locator enabled into the ad itself (see story). 

Although it is simple, solely focusing on location in this McDonalds ad is a smart way to make the process of finding a store as seamless as possible.

Mobile advertising maven
Based on McDonalds track record with mobile advertising, it is no surprise that the brand is one of the first to roll out a mobile advertising campaign on iTunes Radio.

Earlier this fall, the brand launched its first mobile campaign that leverages rich media within Facebook and Twitter ad as part of a multichannel push for a new Mighty Wings product (see story). 

The brand has also ran an iAd campaign during the summer to promote its Monopoly campaign (see story). 

McDonalds has also used audio ads similar to iRadio within the Pandora and Spotify apps in the past as a way to add an extra punch to mobile ad campaigns.

Other brands besides McDonalds running iTunes Radio campaigns include Nissan, Procter Gamble, Pepsi and Macys.

Marketers have scrutinized Apples mobile ad business because of iAds high costs and campaigns that do not take full advantage of the technology. 

However, some initial learnings from the these initial iTunes Radio brands suggest that the platform could be more appealing to brands with better targeting than Pandora, which has traditionally attracted mobile ad interest from big brands.

EMarketer expects Pandora to generate 4.5 percent of total mobile ad revenue this year compared to Apples iAd business with 2.9 percent control of the industry.

Nissan claimed that in the weeks after rolling out its iTunes Radio campaign earlier this year that the brand was seeing higher levels of engagement on the platform than Pandora (see story). 

Consumers are not going to travel far for a quick, light bite to eat, Ms. Lowy said.

Additionally, ads need to reach consumers at the decision-making moment shortly before lunch or dinner, she said.

McDonalds ad strategically focus on the proximity of their stores to the ad viewers, easily allowing people to see just how close they are to a McDonalds location. These ads were likely also targeted at specific times of the day to make sure they were catching people in the meal decision-making time frames.

Final Take
Lauren Johnson is associate reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York

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