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McDonalds give billboards a digital lease of life

Traditionally billboards are boring and largely ineffective when it comes to advertising. People barely glance at them when passing by and they contribute very little in creating awareness. In an attempt to inject new life into billboard advertising, McDonald’s have turned to the classic game of Pong.

This outdoor campaign (OOH) from McDonald’s by DDB Stockholm is one of the best examples of engagement marketing we have seen in some time. With this campaign, we feel McDonald’s has a winner on their hands. The lesson here for marketers is to resist the temptation to over complicate campaigns and consider what Gamification can do for your business.

Gamification is a big buzz word within the digital media community. Gamification is the use of game mechanics in areas not associated with games such as online shopping, survey completion or billboard advertising in this case.

In this instance passerby’s are invited to play Pong on a large interactive billboard. Not only does the billboard grab people’s attention, the game provides successful player’s with digital coupons. It’s then possible to use these coupons in nearby stores. These coupons significantly increase the likely of new business for McDonald’s.

This campaign offers a far better experience than Living Social or Facebook Deals. What’s even better is you don’t even have to download an app to play as the game is web based. However you do need a smart phone.

McDonald’s got this campaign right on a number of levels by keeping it simple. They resisted the temptation of placing unnecessary barriers infront of the consumer such as choosing a complicated game or forcing people to install apps. Instead, they focussed their attention on creating a great user experience with a strong promotional offer. McDonad’s has brought new life to billboard advertising by demonstrating the power of Gamification in the real world.

So here’s to Pong and free food. Now prepare to pile on those pounds and become the next giant Billboard.


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  1. McDonalds, Pong and gamification: A match made in heaven? | Social Media NZ - June 20, 2011

    […] [Original Source] VN:F [1.9.8_1114]please wait…Rating: 0.0/5 (0 votes cast)VN:F [1.9.8_1114]Rating: 0 (from 0 votes)AKPC_IDS += "7411,"; […]

  2. Clever train station marketing campaign by McDonald’s | Creative Marketing - April 22, 2012

    […] McDonald’s marketing department certainly gets interactive marketing. First there was the McDonald’s interactive billboard campaign in Stockholm which allowed passerby’s play games of pong. And now McDonald’s have […]

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