This is the first of a special series where the creative slaves at FluffyLinks.com share their thoughts about what’s happening in the creative industry and beyond. You can check them out at FluffyLinks.com and @Fluffylinks
In an attempt to injected new life into billboard advertising, McDonalds have turned to the classic game of Pong. 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. Can you remember the 10-20 billboards you walked past today?
Humans love playing games. They appeal to our sense of fun and competitiveness, so McDonalds are taking advantage of this behavioural trait by turning to ”gamification”. Other than being a big buzz word at the moment, gamification is the use of game mechanics in areas traditionally not associated with games such as online shopping, survey completion or, in this case, billboard advertising.
In this instance, passers-by are invited to play Pong on a large interactive billboard. Not only does the billboard grab peoples attention, the game provides successful players with digital coupons which they can use in nearby stores which significantly increases the likely of new business for McDonalds. This campaign offers a far better experience than what Living Social or Facebook Deals offer. 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.
McDonalds got this campaign right on a number of levels by keeping it simple. They resisted the temptation to place 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.
McDonald’s and DDB Stockholm have brought new life to billboard advertising with one of the best examples of engagement marketing we have seen in some time. With this campaign, they have a winner on their hands. The lesson here for marketers is to resist the temptation to over complicate campaigns along and consider what gamification can do for your business. So here’s to Pong and free food. Now prepare to pile on those pounds and become the next giant Billboard.