A mobile coupon initiative is aimed at reaching the youth market.
McDonalds teamed up with mobile marketing firm Gamut Industries to create a promotion to reach young adults in southern California. Customers who send the text "McFlurry" to 73260 will receive a coupon for one of the ice cream desserts on their mobile phones.
The promotion, which will run from October 17 through November 13 in the region, calls for customers to send a message over SMS, WAP or J2ME to receive an "mCoup" coupon for a free McFlurry at McDonalds restaurants in the area. The restaurant chain is buying ads on busses and billboards to spread the word about the promotions. Skywriters will also do their thing as eight events around Los Angeles.
Once in the store, coupon recipients can show their phones to a McDonalds employee, who will then give out a unique code. Every phone has a unique fingerprint, so coupons can only be redeemed one time for this promotion.
For the promotion, Gamut created a Web site, mobilestr33t.com, to provide an alternate method to request the coupon. It also provides additional downloads like wallpapers and ringtones and will continue to be updated after this promotion ends.
"[The promotion] needed to have a Web presence for McDonalds to target this market," said David Moranville, managing director for Gamut Industries. "If we did McMobiles, it would probably never fly."
I would give [the southern California] McDonalds group a lot of credit for jumping off a cliff and giving this a try," he added. "There aren't a lot of companies doing this [couponing] right now, but I believe you'll see more soon."
Moranville did not say if future promotions would reach beyond SoCal, but did point out that Gamut has worked with McDonalds in the greater Portland area.
"The owner operator co-op groups operate their independent marketing programs, they have a corporate agenda and a regional initiative," said Moranville. He continued, "There is quite a bit of interest in what we're doing."
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