McDonald’s merges mobile media and marketing magnificently

9800082_tokyojapanThis post is not so much about anxiety but about being successful at a time when anxiety makes competition for consumers’ pocket money particularly fierce. McDonald’s, which recently announced that group operating profits for the first half were up 33 percent in Japan over last year, has carried out some very smart marketing here this year, especially in its efforts to truly connect with consumers.

For example, McDonald’s set up wi-fi hotspots in its restaurants and is making good use of them for marketing, using the wi-fi capability as a new media channel. For a summer promotion, McDonald’s Japan teamed up with Nintendo and Square Enix, a game designer, to create a downloadable Nintendo DS game, Dragon Quest: McDonald’s Travelers. Players could bring their Nintendo DS systems to a local McDonald’s, where they could download and play the battle game.

The brilliance of this promotion was that the only way to play was to go to McDonald’s. Players were also limited to one play session a day, but earned a free burger after five sessions (i.e., five trips to McDonald’s). McDonald’s Travelers got over a million downloads, and the promotion, scheduled to end Sept. 3, proved so popular that it was extended to Oct. 1.

The merging of retail and gaming is a great way to expand one’s consumer base, and the way McDonald’s executed it also enticed greater frequency of visits. Talk about getting people to spend time with your brand.

1 Responses to “McDonald’s merges mobile media and marketing magnificently”


  • Nice article on the crossover of McDonald’s and Square Enix, which is not a game designer. But rather, Square Enix is a game company who has produced Dragon Quest, Kingdom Hearts and the FF series. I think that if they ported the game over to the mobile phone, it would get a wider audience as practically everyone in Japan has a mobile phone, but not everyone has a DS.

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