McDonald’s adds a side of fries to rewards program

The QSR brought back its "debating duo" to help convince people to skip collecting stickers.
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Earlier this month, McDonald’s updated its McCafe Mobile Rewards program, changing the name to McDonald’s Rewards to reflect the fact that users could earn rewards for purchases of fries, in addition to coffee.

To get the word out about the change, a national campaign enlists the same pals who debated the true definition of a Big Mac.

The QSR is looking to drive awareness of the updated rewards program – but the campaign and updates themselves also looking to drive more app downloads and engagement by reminding people that they can “just use the app” instead of collecting stickers from the side of coffee cups.

“Aside from convenience, there wasn’t anything additional you could earn from using the app,” says Dave Dunn, senior manager of guest engagement and experience at McDonald’s Canada. Simply adding fries, he says, greatly increases the value proposition for customers, as one in three orders made at McDonald’s includes fries.

Expanding with fries also allows McDonald’s to learn even more about which menu items customers purchase, giving it the opportunity to provide personalized offers and content to users.

While most other brands both in and outside of QSRs have their own points-based loyalty programs, McDonald’s is something of an outlier with its old-school, “buy a number of products, get one free” approach. Dunn says this has been purposeful based on the “love” customers have for its sticker-based rewards system that, due to its popularity, remains in place for McCafe coffee purchases.

The spots are running on TV, online and paid digital, with in-restaurant support through signage and digital menu screens.

McDonald’s worked with its usual agency roster on the campaign, with Cossette on creative, OMD on media and Weber Shandwick on PR. TrackDDB is also providing support on the data and analytics front. The campaign began last week and is running until mid-September.