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McDonalds Advertising Pongs

McDonald’s in-house PR firm has pulled another great engagement trick out of its hat with an interactive billboard, Pick n Play.

The beauty of this idea is that with or without a smartphone McDonald’s still has its name up in lights; even if you don’t have a smartphone you’ll see the advert and those who do, well addictive gaming and a fast-food freebie await.

The concept is a hi-tech, but seemingly lo-fi, idea. A huge billboard allows smartphone users to play a Pong-like arcade game live on-screen through a mobile website. If players manage to keep the ‘ball’ in play for more than 30 seconds of increasingly difficult gameplay they are rewarded with a choice of;

  • Free milkshake
  • Burger
  • McFlurry

Redemption is simple too. The website will display a code to all successful players that they can show over the counter.

PR genius

It’s a shrewd PR move, not least because of the increased footfall, and store awareness (the one closest to the billboard that is) but the PR coverage across media channels not normally frequented by the fastfood chain shows the burger empire in a different light, a positive one that has introduced a bit of unexpected fun into the lives of shoppers and commuters.

What’s more old arcade games are nostalgia-inducing and addictive; players will come back time and time again.

What’s clear is that the time to embrace smart phone marketing is here. Those who tried it too early and had their fingers burned need to step back, reassess and reconsider how the smallest screen has the potential to deliver the biggest returns on your bottom line.




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