McDonald’s had a simple goal – to spread the word about its free coffee refills. During a time when McDonald’s is trying to directly compete with established coffee brands such as Starbucks, the campaign needed to really make a splash.
First up … Cosette West went big by transforming a street light into a coffee cup and pot of coffee with a big “Free Refills” message that no one could miss. Check it out below (click on the ad to see the full-size version on Ads of the World).
Second, Cosette West created an outdoor ad at a bus stop that didn’t remain static like most outdoor advertising does. Instead, this ad changed everyday as the amount of coffee beans dwindled each day that the free refill promotion neared its end — check it out below (click on the ad to see the full-size version). It’s easy for ads at locations like bus stops to become invisible to consumers who see them everyday. By changing the McDonald’s ad a bit everyday, that audience is likely to notice the change and therefore, take notice of the ad again everyday. It’s a very clever tactic.
It’s this kind of creative thinking that makes consumers stop and take notice. Does it convert and deliver ROI? I don’t have an answer to that in the case of McDonald’s and the free coffee refills campaign, but if the primary goal was awareness, the company undoubtedly succeeded. And isn’t that one of the first rules of advertising success — getting people to stop and notice your ad? Without awareness, there can be no sales.
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