- McDonald's is giving away free McRib sandwiches to the first 10,000 people who show on social media that they've shaved their facial hair after No-Shave November, the month-long event that raises money for cancer research, prevention and education, according to an announcement.
- To score a free McRib, people can post pictures of their clean-shaven faces on their public Twitter or Instagram profiles, using the #Shave4McRibSweepstakes hashtag and tagging @mcdonalds in the caption. The first 10,000 entries will receive a code for a free McRib for delivery from Uber Eats. The sweepstakes is open to anyone without a beard.
- McDonald's tomorrow will bring back the McRib nationwide for the first time since 2012. The chain will donate money to No-Shave November for every McRib sold on Dec. 2. The sandwich will be available from participating restaurants for takeout, drive-thru and McDelivery service, per the announcement.
McDonald's offbeat campaign for the national return of the McRib makes light of the idea that the sandwich has so much barbecue sauce that it's difficult for bearded people to eat it. The product launch comes just after the end of No-Shave November, when many people pledge not to shave for the month to help raise awareness for cancer education and urge people to donate to research efforts. By encouraging people to post pictures of their clean-shaven faces on Instagram and Twitter, McDonald's can boost the reach of the campaign among people who are most likely to be fans of the McRib sandwich. Connecting with those customers on social media can be useful for the targeting of future efforts.
With the campaign, McDonald's also seeks to support its McDelivery service as many people avoid dining in restaurants during the pandemic. Drive-thru, takeout and delivery have become more important for the burger chain as it works to rebound from disruptions to its normal operations. Before the health crisis, delivery service had helped to drive global same-store sales growth an average of 5.9%, the highest in more than 10 years.
The McRib campaign is another sign of McDonald's "three Ds" strategy that emphasizes drive-thru, delivery and digital during the second half of the year. Those efforts appear to be paying off, with the company's U.S. same-store sales expanding 4.6% in Q3 from a year earlier, though the slower recovery of global markets hampered total revenue growth, per a quarterly report.
Its U.S. results got a lift from popular promotions like the collaboration with rapper Travis Scott on a combination meal that led to ingredient shortages. McDonald's also introduced menu items like Spicy Chicken McNuggets that it promoted with its quirky "Spicesurance" campaign in September. The increased promotional activity follows a pledge by McDonald's President and CEO Chris Kempczinski to increase marketing spend in the U.S. and global markets by $200 million in the second half of the year to make up for suspended campaigns during the pandemic's onset.