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McDonald?s shakes up fundraising campaign via mobile, social initiatives

McDonald?s is using Foursquare to promote is new McCafe Shakes and raise money for its Ronald McDonald House Charities.

From March 1-17, consumers can check in on mobile social network Foursquare at any restaurant in the Philadelphia region and send their check-in to Twitter with a @McDPhilly mention. For every check-in received, the company will donate $1 to Ronald McDonald House Charities.

?The strategy was to introduce our McDPhilly online community to Foursquare and engage customers with the McDonald?s brand,? said Pamela Simonelli, regional marketing manager at McDonald?s, Philadelphia.

?The timing of the fundraiser showcases the new McCafe Shake packaging and demonstrates McDonald?s commitment to Ronald McDonald House Charities, which supports programs that directly improve the health and well-being of children around the world,? she said.

?Our current online community is comprised of loyal @McDPhilly Twitter followers as well as our McDPhilly Facebook page fans who are already using Foursquare in their daily activity ? Foursquare enables us to reach our audience in a way that is both meaningful and relevant to them.?

McDonald?s is the world's largest burger chain, serving nearly 47 million customers daily.

Shake it up
The mobile promotion will take place at participating locations in Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey and Delaware only.

In addition to $1 being donated for every check-in received, each customer who participates in the mobile social fundraiser will receive a Be Our Guest coupon for a free McCafe Shake.

Consumers can also buy a Shamrock Shake in the McDonald?s locations to make a donation.

Foursquare is a good tool for McDonald's to get more consumers in its locations.

More and more consumers are accessing Foursquare from their mobile devices.

Offering an incentive such as a free shake gets consumers more involved in the mobile fundraiser.

More companies are seeing the advantage of using location-based services to get the word out about the mobile campaigns and initiatives.

McDonald's is no stranger to mobile.

The company recently promoted its new Dollar Menu via a rich-media mobile advertising campaign.

The campaign featured expandable banner ads that the company is running within The Weather Channel iPhone application (see story).

Additionally, McDonald's participated in a pilot campaign showcasing Navteq?s location-based mobile advertising services and achieved a 7 percent click-through rate, while also driving consumers in-store (see story).

?McDonald?s understands that it is important to communicate with consumers in their preferred forum, which right now is both mobile and online,? Ms. Simonelli said. ?It only makes sense to utilize mobile to tell our brand?s story.?

Consumers can check-in at participating locations

Mobile promotions
The mobile fundraiser is being promoted via Facebook and Twitter.

Additionally, in-store signage throughout the Philadelphia region will direct customers to check-in, send their check-in to Twitter and mention @McDPhilly.

?McDonald's Restaurants of Southeastern Pennsylvania, Southern New Jersey, and Delaware will continue to use Twitter, Facebook and Foursquare to reach consumers with the latest news, events and promotions happening in our area,? Ms. Simonelli said. 

Final Take
Rimma Kats is editorial assistant on Mobile Marketer, New York