Cannes Lions

Summer Lovin'

OMD GERMANY, Dusseldorf / MCDONALD'S / 2021

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During the Corona-related lockdown, McDonald's stores were closed. As a result, the McDonald's app also lost relevance: App downloads as well as app usage dropped to an annual low.

However, the app is a very relevant tool for sustainable and valuable customer loyalty - it is a central module for the simple and efficient activation of McDonald's customer loyalty and campaign components during the year. If users are missing, a significant portion of additional sales generated by the app each year is missing as well.

Therefore, the top goal was to win back our customers. App downloads and app usage had to return to the previous year's level!


McDonald's launched the "Summer Weeks" promotion - over a period of 6 weeks, a variety of products had to be promoted. Out of this variety, to whom should we communicate which product without knowing their preferences?

We had to find a way to identify the individual favorite of the target group person and put it in the center of an individual approach to push app downloads.

To achieve this, we created a two-phase model that combines market research and advertising within a mobile-only campaign in a media-adequate way (that is, making use of interactions our target audience is used to on their smartphones): In the first phase, we wanted to learn as much as possible about the product preferences of our target audience. This knowledge was collected and was to be used in the second phase through a targeted and efficient approach.


Phase 1: Identify favorite products

In the first phase of the campaign, we addressed the broad target audience with interactive, playful mobile ads that included various products. Users were asked via built-in voting mechanism (the “Tinder app mechanic”: swipe left or right for hot or not) to name their most loved McDonald’s product. This way, we were able to obtain very detailed knowledge about specific product preferences - right down to the one big love.

Phase 2: Seduce target group with their favorite products to download the app

At the end of Phase 1 preferences were clustered by grouping the people behind the votes for their favorite product. By doing this, we created groups of addressable people who shared the same product preferences and whom we could now programmatically target with bespoke ads in Phase 2: Coupons for your favorite McDonald’s product if you download the app!


Over the entire campaign, more than 850,000 app installs were generated. This means that the number of installs increased by as much as +67% compared to the pre-campaign period. In other words: the conditions for a sustainable and valuable customer loyalty are better than ever.

Equally important, the campaign did not only propel app downloads but exceeded all expectations at the checkout! The sales of the campaign products in the app exceeded the until then existing average annual value by a whopping 130%.

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