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McDonald's Tests Geotargeted Twitter Ads

  |  April 1, 2011   |  Comments

Quick-serve brand's Canadian division looks to increase followers via Promoted Accounts.


McDonald's Canada today announced that it's one of the first geotargeting testers for Twitter's Promoted Accounts.

Outside of creating general brand awareness, the platform helps companies build their followers audience by displaying the advertiser at the top of the "Who to follow" column, which includes three other non-sponsor Twitter accounts.

Based in Don Mills, ON, McDonald's Canada has 4,000 followers of its "@McD_Canada" handle. McDonald's has 1,430 restaurants in Canada, 80 percent of which are locally owned franchises. Karin Campbell, spokesperson for the brand, told ClickZ that increasing followers was just one of the objectives of the geotargeting pilot.

"It is one of the goals, but not the primary goal," she explained. "There are not a lot of people aware that we have a uniquely Canadian Twitter handle. And it's really important for us to reach customers who want to have a dialogue with us and don't know that we are there."

By targeting Canadian users, Campbell said her company wants to boost awareness around local initiatives like regional menu items, limited-time offers, and other exclusively Canadian events. In one example, the brand plans to use geotargeted Promoted Accounts ads to promote "McHappy Day" on May 11. During this one-day event, the quick-serve chain will donate $1 for the sale of every Big Mac, Happy Meal, and premium roast coffee to local children's charities across Canada.

"We have a bunch of different programs underway and some limited-time offers coming up," Campbell said. "So it's a really busy time for us in the social space. And it's a really great opportunity for us to pilot this service."

Up to this point in Twitter's evolution, the absence of geotargeting has been an obvious hole in the micro-blogging site's ad menu. The emergence of Promoted Accounts and Promoted Tweets offerings by location provides brands with an alternative to Twitter's global-only Promoted Trend buy, which reportedly costs in the neighborhood of $100,000 to $120,000. Trial advertisers like McDonald's Canada are able to target Promoted Accounts ads by country while Promoted Tweets can be more granular - supporting either country or metro area delivery in the U.S.

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Christopher Heine

Christopher Heine was a senior writer for ClickZ through June 2012. He covered social media, sports/entertainment marketing, retail, and more. Heine's work has also appeared via Mashable, Brandweek, DM News, MarketingSherpa, and other tech- and ad-centric publications. USA Today, Bloomberg Radio, and The Los Angeles Times have cited him as an expert journalist.

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