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McDonald?s further cements position in mobile space via targeted ad campaign

Fast food giant McDonald?s is proving that it is a force to reckon with in the mobile arena via a new targeted ad campaign that promotes its Monopoly game.

The company is running mobile ads within Pandora?s iPhone app. The Monopoly promotion offers consumers a chance to win prizes such as cash and gift cards.

"I think it would be wise for McDonald?s to be cognizant of which mobile phones their sites and campaigns are working on, since there is a very large mix of smartphones, feature phones with their customer base," said Marci Troutman, CEO of Siteminis, Atlanta. 

"For instance, if they are sending out an ad that will let their customers know about a campaign that is time sensitive, users click from the ad to the mobile Web, this should be branded and viewable by the majority of phones, not just smartphones for a better ROI," she said.

Ms. Troutman is not affiliated with McDonald's. She commented based on her expertise on the subject.

McDonald's did not respond by press time.

McDonald?s is the world's largest burger chain, serving nearly 47 million customers daily.

Mobile game
The mobile banner ad features the McDonald?s and Monopoly logo, as well as a picture of the game?s mascot Rich Uncle Pennybags.

When consumers tap on the banner, they are redirected to a mobile landing page that lets consumers enter a promotional code, which they can find when they buy a meal from McDonald?s.

There is also a tab that educates consumers on the new promotion ? a feature that is key for those that are unfamiliar with the McDonald?s and Monopoly game.

Consumers can find their 11-digit game code on the bottom of select Game Stamps, which are placed on McDonald?s products such as its fries or soda cups. 

The game codes tell consumers whether or not they won prizes such as cash, a luxury included location, video games or one-night DVD rentals.

"I do think that mobile ads linked to locators to help drive customers to closest locations drives a much higher ROI, especially depending on the time of the ad," Ms. Troutman said.

Past initiatives
McDonald?s has been doing a lot in the mobile space.

In 2008, the company used mobile coupons in parts of the western United States timed with the launch of its new iced coffee beverage. The promotion offered consumers free iced coffee when they used mobile coupons at participating McDonald's locations (see story).

Earlier this year, McDonald?s used foursquare to promote is new McCafe Shakes and raise money for its Ronald McDonald House Charities. From March 1-17, consumers had the chance to check-in on mobile social network foursquare at any restaurant in the Philadelphia region and send their check-in to Twitter with a @McDPhilly mention. For every check-in received, the company will donated $1 to Ronald McDonald House Charities (see story).

Recently, McDonald?s rolled out a new iPhone app that helps consumers make informed choices based on their individual preferences. The app, which is available in the Canadian market, is available for free download in Apple?s App Store. McDonald?s Canada claims that this is the first of its kind in the Canadian quick-service restaurant industry (see story).

"I believe that mobile is becoming a ?must have? in more companies this year, and will continue to do so," Ms. Troutman.

Final Take
Rimma Kats is staff reporter on Mobile Marketer, New York