A model McDonald’s promotion in China

3761842166_7bc4301aa61In a recent promotion for summer drinks, McDonald’s in China turned a simple buy-one-get-one-free offer into a resonant campaign that enhanced the value of the brand rather than take away from it (see commercial here). This was done by laddering the promotion to a higher-order benefit: quality time spent face-to-face with friends.

The campaign leveraged the insight that youth tend to spend more time online than socializing with friends outside the home. Hence the strategy was to encourage youth to meet their closest friends more often, at McDonald’s. The creative idea is that even though one may have hundreds of friends online, only a few of those are close buddies, and more time should be spent with them offline.

As we noted in our first issue of the AnxietyIndex Quarterly, “The Genericizing of Brands,” price and value messaging must be approached in a branded way. When offering consumers more value, smart advertisers make sure the offer works harder than a promotion, something that McDonald’s has pulled off with this campaign.

Photo credit: Sheep”R”Us

1 Responses to “A model McDonald’s promotion in China”


  • Well spotted! As you say, a good example of trying to brand a price promotion (if not hugely well executed!).

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