Here’s how McDonald’s did it:
Even though I eat an Egg McMuffin almost every day, and even though I managed McDonald’s restaurants for more than a decade, I did not have the McDonald’s app on my phone.
I’ve downloaded the Chipotle app. The Panera app. The Way Back Burger app. The Dominos and Shake Shack apps. But I didn’t see the need for the McDonald’s app since I never pre-ordered my Egg McMuffin.
Then one day I saw this sign in the drive thru land. My curiosity was peaked.
The J Balvin meal? Who is J Balvin? Or what is J Balvin?
And what is this meal?
I let it go. By the time I had paid for my breakfast, I’d forgotten all about the J Balvin meal.
But then I see it again the next day. And the day after that. And the day after that. Even though I almost always forget about the sign by the time I pull back onto the road, my curiosity grow while I waited in line. More and more each day.
Finally, I can’t stand it anymore. I need to know. I download the McDonald’s app. I open it. Register myself on the app. The J Balvin meal pops up instantly:
Free Oreo McFlurry.
This is the heralded J Balvin meal? A free Oreo McFlurry if I agree to eat a Big Mac?
I’ve never eaten a Big Mac in my life. I’ve made thousands of them, but the ingredients do not appeal to me.
Also, who the hell is J Balvin? The app is absent of any explanation.
So I went online.
J Balvin is José Álvaro Osorio Balvín, a Colombian reggaeton singer. He has been referred to as the “Prince of Reggaeton”, and is one of the best-selling Latin music artists with sales of more than 35 million records worldwide.
Okay. I’ve never heard of him, but apparently many millions know him well.
I go to Spotify. I listen to three of his songs. Not my favorite kind of music. I’m a person obsessed with lyrics, so when those lyrics are in a language that I don’t speak, the music falls a little flat for me.
Still, it’s not half bad.
Well played, McDonald’s.
Stick a mysterious pink sign beside the speaker hinting at some special deal, and it ultimately results in me downloading and registering on your app and listening to three songs by your musical partner.
All of that was worth far more than the paper that the sign was printed on.
Was this intentional on McDonald’s part? Doubtful, but as I tell people all the time, if you’re credited for something that you did unintentionally or even accidentally, accept the credit. Far too often in life, we don’t receive credit where credit is due. When the universe tosses you an undeserved bone, you take it.
So well played, McDonald’s. That laminated pink sign certainly did its job.