- McDonald's brand McCafé at Home partnered with actor Mark Consuelos on a "Ditch New Year's Resolution Day" takeover on Jan. 17, according to a press release. The brew-at-home coffee label, a collaboration with Kraft Heinz, unveiled Brew Happier Mobile, an interactive experience in Chicago, as part of the effort.
- The experience aims to offer consumers the chance to start their day with a "moment of positivity" so that they can continue working toward their New Year's resolutions rather than abandoning them. It features free coffee and a chance to meet Consuelos, and one Chicago resident will get a ride to work on the Brew Happier Mobile today (Jan. 18). Consumers can follow the journey using the hashtag #McCafeAtHome on social media.
- Another brand is taking a different approach to New Year's goals altogether: Restaurant chain TGI Fridays this week debuted new TV and digital ads, with creative urging people to "TGIF*IT to making resolutions," per a news release. The campaign is promoting the brand’s 2+2+2 Starting at $20 menu, which features two appetizers, two entrees and two desserts. TGI Fridays is also offering "resolution-breaking" cocktails, desserts and more.
McCafé at Home and TGI Fridays are linking their campaigns to the struggle that many people face in keeping their New Year's resolutions and playing into the fact that many fall off the wagon by mid-January. However, the brands are not only offering vastly different solutions, but also leveraging different marketing tactics.
The McCafé at Home activation is attempting to help consumers reconnect with the resolutions that they set and use "Ditch New Year’s Resolution Day" to recharge in order to meet their goals. The experiential push was inspired by an internal survey revealing that 38% of Americans want to be more positive in 2019, and 17% think a good cup of coffee in the morning will help them accomplish their resolutions.
The effort might resonate most with millennial consumers, who are drinking more coffee than older demographics and are helping to drive interest in the self-care trend. Millennials also enjoy opportunities to engage with brands in real life and often share the experiences on social media. Because of this, more brands are embracing experiential marketing to build awareness and drive online engagement.
In contrast, TGI Fridays is encouraging people to toss out their resolutions and offering no judgments for those who do. The humorous, light-hearted messaging could appeal to those ready to forego their resolutions and go back to drinking cocktails, eating desserts and enjoying whatever they had planned to give up. The campaign continues the restaurant chain's focus on developing a more fun, light-hearted persona that celebrates "unrestricted enjoyment."
Outside of marketing, customer experience has been an area of growth for TGI Fridays. The company has turned to technology, specifically artificial intelligence (AI), to offer more personalization and deepen emotional connections with diners.
The brand claims to have increased social engagement by 500% by integrating AI on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Alexa and through email campaigns, according to Mityas. AI also helped it grow online ordering and reservations — increasingly crucial in the restaurant space — leading to a reported 100% jump in online revenue growth.