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GOLD WINNER: McDonald’s McCafe—Roast Coffee Campaign

Mac Cafe

Client: McDonald’s

Entrant Company: OMD Hong Kong

Entry Category: A Local Execution of a Multinational Campaign

Names to be credited with submission:
• Randy Lai — McDonald’s Restaurants (HK) Ltd.
• Canace Lin — McDonald’s Restaurants (HK) Ltd.
• Anisa Tio — McDonald’s Restaurants (HK) Ltd.
• Germaine Tse — OMD Hong Kong
• Louise Woo — OMD Hong Kong
• Jeffry Gamble — Creative Director, DDB

Time Period of Campaign: 2008

Case Study Summary:

Marketing Situation: In early 2008 McDonald’s launched its first premium coffee, McCafe Roast Coffee, with a USP that McDonald’s coffee is always available, night or day, from their numerous 24-hour Hong Kong outlets.

McDonald’s has a high penetration in Hong Kong, where 82% of adults have visited a restaurant in the last 12 months. However McDonald’s was not top of mind for premium coffee, nor did the brand halo stretch to a premium product range.

The challenge was to launch and entrench McCafe Roast Coffee as a premium product and change consumers’ perceptions about the quality of a premium coffee from McDonald’s.

Key Insights:
Coffee is generally part of a daily routine and a habitual purchase for much of the target audience. The goal was to encourage consumers to break that habit and purchase coffee—premium coffee- at McDonald’s.

One of the biggest barriers to purchase was the perception that McDonald’s coffee would not be of premium quality. The only way to prove the quality of McCafe Roast Coffee was actually getting people to sample it.
These insights led us to the strategy called, “Tasting is believing.”

Media Strategy: The campaign’s goal was to break through into consumers daily routines. High impact outdoor formats announced to coffee drinkers that McCafe Roast coffee was always available while they were on their way to work, traveling home, hitting the shops or going to meet friends. This included 22 bus sides on the move 24-hours-a-day, while the busiest MTR station platform (Admiralty) was turned into giant McDonald’s coffee cups.

The outdoor portion was supplemented with a heavy TVC campaign, creative prints ads and interactive online campaign to ensure maximum awareness.

A massive guerilla sampling campaign used three different sampling methods to reach as many coffee drinkers as possible

1. A McDonald’s branded sampling station in a vacant shop on the busiest junction in Hong Kong invited shoppers to try McDonalds fresh grind Arabian coffee served up by baristas.

2. Key bus shelters throughout Hong Kong distributed McDonald’s coffee cups to passersby, which could be taken to the nearest McDonalds to be filled with McCafe Roast Coffee for free.

3. Two mobile sampling trucks traveled the length and breadth of Hong Kong from 0800 to 2400 for two weeks. Teams of promotional staff dressed as coffee cups directed passersby to the heavily branded trucks to sample McCafe Roast Coffee without even having to enter a McDonald’s.

In-store tasting and a loyalty redemption card ensured that existing McDonalds customers also had the opportunity to sample McCafe Roast Coffee

How Could this be a Template for Other Campaigns or for World Class Standards? This demonstrates how an innovative approach to the distribution of samples can maximize impact and increase take up effectiveness of a campaign. Simple techniques we employed include:

Converting a vacant shopfront in the busiest commercial of Hong Kong into a heavily branded sampling station

The use of mobile trucks to reach consumers not present in central areas.

Results: The campaign generated 60% awareness of the McDonald’s premium coffee offering, resulting in a 16% share of sales increase at breakfast.