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McDonald?s rides rich media wave in latest mobile marketing push

McDonald?s has turned to rich media again to take its new mobile marketing campaign to a whole new level and encourage consumers to learn more about its latest chicken wraps.

The fast food giant is one of the few companies that really has taken over the mobile advertising ecosystem. Over the past few years, McDonald?s has dipped its toes in mobile banner ads, rich media efforts and Apple?s iAd network.

?Fast food restaurants have long been epitomized as a prime example of unhealthful food,? said Shuli Lowy, director of marketing at Ping Mobile. 

?McDonalds is using mobile to build engaging campaigns to help transform their brand image to suit the newer, healthier America,? she said. 

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

McDonald?s did not respond to press inquiries.

Rich wraps
McDonald?s is running the interactive mobile campaign within Pandora?s iPhone application.

For this specific effort, the fast food giant is promoting its new Premium McWrap.

The company is running a mobile banner ad that includes a photo of the new McWrap and entices consumers to unwrap a feast of freshness.

When consumers tap on the ad, it expands to a bigger picture of the Premium McWrap. From there, users can tap on the package to release flavor.

As they tap, the background changes climates ? cloudiness, rain and, ultimately, sunshine.

After consumers ?release the flavor,? they can also learn more about the new product through the interactive effort.

For example, when users scroll down, they see a road, with hills, houses and buildings and billboards that expand.

When expanded, the billboards let consumers learn more about the new product and what ingredients go into it, as well as browse recent flavor additions.  

The Premium McWrap features three flavors such as Chicken and Bacon, Chicken and Ranch and Sweet Chili Chicken.

?The caption on the banner promotes ?a feast of freshness,? the wrap encasement features fresh looking vegetables and latter pages highlight in bold letters ?tomatoes,? ?cucumbers,? and ?lettuce,?? Ms. Lowy said. ?This is entirely different from the classic double cheeseburger and fries we?ve become accustomed to seeing.

?Mobile is an excellent channel through which to attempt this 360-turnaround because it?s a place where consumers get to hands-on interact and get to know brands,? she said. 

?When the content is delivered in rich media it creates an even more alluring engagement opportunity as well as more visibility to increase the campaign penetration.?

What is interesting about this campaign is that there are many components to it.

By adding different variants to the marketing mix, McDonald?s is able to offer consumers a new way to interact with its products.

Not only is the campaign an educational one, but with rich media, it takes the experience to another level.

Furthermore, the campaign is targeted and also lets consumers find the nearest McDonald?s location to try the products in person. 

In addition to mobile banner ads, the fast food giant is also running audio ads to promote the product. 

?Promising brands are those that have the audacity to dig into new, creative marketing channels as well as the sensibility to evaluate each effort individually and sometimes choose the archaic channels because they just work,? Ms. Lowy said.

?Nothing could be truer in the world of mobile,? she said. ?McDonald?s ability to test the waters and remain at the forefront of implementing new mobile creative options while simultaneously engage in classic SMS campaigns (considered by many the most effective mobile marketing channel) demonstrates that they know how to navigate the mobile sphere."

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York