Another goodie from Chief Marketer (www.ChiefMarketer.com). Mr. Tim Parry, their managing editor, not only admits to eating at McDonald’s but decides to stick it to ’em too. To read his quick one page article, please click here.
Now here’s the quickie that was zipped off to Tim:
Just read your article. I hear ya but a couple things came to mind:
1 – Maybe it was just a prototype? A quick & dirty just to gauge reaction to this type of a promotion?
2 – It’s highly possible McD’s actually wanted to make it this easy to pass along (read: viral), no? Maybe under the current economic conditions it make more sense to get people in the door – no matter who they are – then to ask for email addresses or other personal info that they might not want to volunteer?
3 – With regards to point #1, did you notice the same promo in any other McD’s? For all we know it was just that location taking part in a trial?
4 – Or maybe there’s a randomizer – as based on area / IP address? – that presents different visitors with different forms for data to collect? Again, see #2. It very well could be that less is more for them on this one. It’s possible they’re using a number of different forms to see which one drives in the most traffic. Without a comparison it’s also possible that for tracking purposes the coupons might be slight different as well, no? So what looks to be too simple might not actually be so, IMHO of course.
5 – If there’s a complaint about the coupon, it’s the size. It’s excessive to require their infrastructure to push out 1.5meg a shot when something much smaller will do.
6 – And while I hate to accuse McDonald’s of anything sneaky, maybe your lunch wasn’t so free after all? They certainly could have planted a cookie but what if they also planted something more spyware-esque? Maybe they figured that if you just forwarded the link to the pdf they’d be able to track that activity as well? Again, things might not be what they seem.
Let’s be honest, we all like to play marketing critic. Unfortunately, without knowing the intention (and the budget) of the campaign it’s hard to evaluate something like this. I agree with you 100% – they could have done more – but I also see the value in them not doing so and still making out pretty well. It’s not often a company can spend 25 cents (i.e., the approx cost of a medium ice tea) and get a customer in the door. Under current economic conditions this might actually be a stroke of genius.