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McDonald?s uses mobile to provide instant gratification to young consumers

McDonald?s is letting consumers vote for their favorite burgers via an SMS vote that will be held at the Sprite Step Off, a nationally televised step-off competition.

The fast-food giant has launched a competition called Flavor Battle that will take place on the main stage at the Sprite Step Off events and audience members will vote for their favorite McDonald's burger and DJ via text message. Every text message counts as an entry into the national McDonald's Flavor Battle sweepstakes, along with voting on 365Black.com.

?The McDonald's Flavor Battle is all about harnessing the energy and excitement of individuals who are using their talents as DJs as a form of creative expression that many young adults are responding to in a positive way,? said Rob Jackson, director of U.S. marketing at McDonald's USA, Oak Brook, IL.

?This was an intriguing opportunity to build a program that connects the fact that each DJ has his or her own flavor to the variety available on the McDonald's burger menu, especially as we launch the new Angus Third Pounder,? he said.

?We are engaging with audiences via our Web site and in 25 markets, where we're able to connect with the sweepstakes through the vehicle that is now second nature to them ? texting.?

The McDonald's Flavor Battle is a new, national premier DJ competition, which began Sept. 7.

Three national DJs will battle it out online at McDonald's 365Black.com from Sept. 7 through Nov. 22, giving consumers an opportunity to vote for the DJs' old school, new school and R&B mixes on the Web site and via SMS.

The DJs each will represent a McDonald's famous burger.

Los Angeles-based DJ Spinderella, of legendary 80's hip-hop fame, represents the Big Mac.

Bryan Michael Cox, a Grammy Award-winning songwriter and producer out of Houston and Atlanta, represents the Double Quarter Pounder with Cheese.

Miami-based DJ Irie, the only official DJ for the pro-basketball team Miami Heat and the official DJ for actor and R&B artist Jamie Foxx, represents the newest burger, the Angus Third Pounder.

Voters at 365Black.com enter the McDonald's Flavor Battle sweepstakes for a prize package, including a trip to Atlanta for the Sprite Step Off National Finals in January 2010.

The Sprite Step Off is a national collegiate step team competition hitting campuses nationwide from September through November with the finals in Atlanta in January.

The 32-ounce soft drink cups at participating McDonald's restaurants include a coupon for $5 off the admission price to Sprite Step Off events.

In addition to the national DJ competition online, the McDonald's Flavor Battle is a unique integration within the 30 Sprite Step Off events in 25 metropolitan areas.

McDonald?s is not a rookie when it comes to innovative mobile promotions.

In August the fast food giant launched its first mobile marketing campaign that specifically targeted the Hispanic demographic while on the go.

Customers who visited a McDonald's restaurant on Mondays between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. could get a free seven-ounce Iced McCafé Mocha or an eight-ounce Hot McCafé Mocha. The campaign ran through Aug. 21 (see story).

The launch of the McDonald's M Burger in France stood out for its innovative use of mobile advertising.
The fast food franchise ran banner ads on the Microsoft Advertising Mobile Media network. The brand used animated banner formats instead of traditional mobile banners (see story).

It is not a shock that McDonald's has turned to mobile once again

"Utilizing text as the voting mechanism offers instant gratification to our young consumers in attendance at the McDonald's Flavor Battle,? Mr. Jackson said. ?We were looking for a mechanism that captured their response immediately - voting for their favorite DJ and, at the conclusion of each event, seeing the measurable results. 

?We're also excited to be able to offer them a benefit - an entry into the Flavor Battle sweepstakes,? he said.