McDonald's plays games and tests loyalty
The US-based fast food giant, McDonald's, is to expand its pilot loyalty programme, operated in conjunction with behavioural marketing firm, Catalina Marketing, while simultaneously making a robust return to the world of game-based promotions.
The fast food chain has been working with Catalina Marketing on the pilot of an in-store consumer communication and loyalty programme called McDeals. The initial test in Hawaii began in October 2002, and the programme is expected to expand into the mainland US market in the very near future.
The programme provides McDonald's customers personal, customised purchase incentives, offers, and sweepstakes at the point-of-sale.
Return to gaming At the same time, McDonald's is to stage a bold return to the game-based promotions that were known and loved by so many of its regular customers, following the revision and approval of its game security protocols.
The chain's original game promotions were withdrawn because of allegations of internal fraud by an employee of the company that had operated and managed the games.
"We know our customers enjoy playing the promotional games we have developed over the years," said Neil Golden, vice president of US marketing for McDonald's. "With the new security protocols that our Games Advisory Board has endorsed, we can ensure that McDonald's customers will have a fair chance to win exciting and fun prizes when they visit our restaurants."
McDonald's formed the Games Advisory Board in Fall 2001 to conduct a thorough review of security procedures prior to introducing another promotional game for its customers. The board's purpose was to ensure the security and integrity of McDonald's promotional games and contests.
In conjunction with the Games Advisory Board, McDonald's has developed three guiding principles for future promotional games:
- There is no longer a single party overseeing game security.
- A new technique has been developed whereby independent auditors will authenticate McDonald's game pieces.
- There will be a random rotation of supplier roles between game promotions.
Debut game The firm's latest promotional game, Winning Time begins on March 25th, 2003, at participating restaurants throughout the US. The game offers customers the chance to win a variety of prizes including cash, personal services, sports cars, and special times with celebrities.
All prizes will be won by obtaining a winning game piece, rather than by obtaining a winning collection of game pieces. Game pieces are bilingual and will be attached to a variety of foods and drinks. The game is being managed by The Marketing Store (TMS), of Oak Brook, Illinois, USA.