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McDonald?s solidifies mobile reign with new app, rich media advertising campaign

McDonald?s is using a new mobile application and rich media advertising to get the word out about its Fish McBites products.

The company is running the campaign within ESPN?s mobile site. McDonald?s has heavily relied on mobile advertising in the past to promote its new products, whether through rich media, static banner ads or iAds.

?McDonald's is one of the few lifestyle brands for which this makes sense,? said Steven Duesbury, solution director of digital business strategy at Acquity Group.

?The brand is based on experience and customers would expect something more immersive and entertaining,? he said. ?I also think the approach of literally inviting customers to play with their food shows real confidence.  

?Again, there aren't many brands that could pull this off without coming across as silly or trying too hard.?

Mr. Duesbury is not affiliated with McDonald?s. He commented based on his expertise on the subject.

McDonald?s did not respond to press inquiries.  

Mobile hunger
The McDonald?s mobile ad reads, ?Fish McBites. Hurry, They Won?t Last Long.?

When users tap on the ad, they are taken to an interactive rich media experience where they can learn more about the products and create their own mixes with fishes.

Consumers are encouraged to tap on the fishes, crank up the volume and scroll up to remix their tune.

Furthermore, the fast food giant is promoting its Mouthoff McDonald?s app within the mobile advertising campaign.

The app is available for free download in Apple?s App Store.

The app features Frankie the Fish and users can interact with his sound-reactive graphical mouth.

Users can choose a mouth, put their phone to their face and talk, shout or sing.

Every advertising campaign McDonald?s does seems to be better than the previous one.

The company has invested a lot of time and dollars into its mobile efforts and continues to look at new ways to engage consumers.

?As a rule, rich media campaigns are not inherently good or bad,? Mr. Duesbury said. ?The mistake most companies make is starting with ?we need to do rich media? or ?we need a mobile app? and trying to fit an idea around a shiny object.  

?It's not about mobile, it's about mobility, which means delivering the right messages and experiences, in context with customers' lifestyle and location,? he said. ?Mobility is also about creating value for the customer ? whether through entertainment like the McDonald?s app, or through function, which this also looks to do through its feedback capability. 

Mobile past
McDonald?s is no stranger to mobile.

Last year, the fast food giant cemented its place in the mobile advertising with a campaign that not only educated consumers about the current Monopoly promotion that was going on, but also let them enter on the spot (see story).

Most recently, McDonald?s ran its sixth iAd campaign, which not only promoted the company?s products, but took advantage of the device?s capabilities to offer a more interactive experience (see story).

?It will be interesting to see if McDonald's has plans to develop this customer connection point through continued innovation or whether this is a one-and-done promo,? Mr. Duesbury said.

?Given the level of trial they are likely to achieve with this app, it would be a shame if it were the latter and they missed an opportunity to maintain and grow these customer relationships,? he said. 

Final Take
Rimma Kats is associate editor on Mobile Marketer, New York