McDonald’s; Using China’s “eBay” to auction Super Value Meals; Social media viral campaign done right.
On 11th Feb 2009, the fast food giant McDonald’s China Co. opened an online ebay-like auction store, McDonald’s Super Value Shop, on China’s hottest and most influential C2C and B2C shopping site Taobao.com.
So do users bid on happy meals? Nope, the items available for bidding are popular and fashionable products such as digital cameras, laptops, IPod players, mobile phones and cosmetics.
How does this tie into the whole McDonald’s branding? Well, it’s a bit loose, but still makes sense when you consider the main message of the campaign: “McDonald’s offers value for money”. Here’s how they did it.
To tap into the consumers’ desire to save money, McDonald leveraged the popularity of the Taobao auction site to raise awareness of their new Super Value Meals.
25-32 age group dominates the Chinese internet.
The campaign on Taobao.com successfully engaged young netizens. Consumers bid on items via Reverse Dutch auction, which let bidders bid prices down to the winning price of 16.50rmb (USD$2.41), the price of McDonald’s Super Value Meals. Each time a user bids, the price decreases by 1 RMB (15 cents); users are allowed to bid as many times as they want, but are restricted to an interval of 5 mintues between bids. The key idea then is to get users to constantly check back on the site, in the hopes that their next click will be the lucky one that hits the Value Meal price, thus winning the auction.
McDonald’s Taobao auction page.
During the promotion, around 100 items valued from hundreds to thousands of RMB are auctioned everyday. Products are announced one day prior to bidding, which attracted a lot of anxious viewers everyday; total visitors since Feb 11th? 2,580,000.
The campaign went viral; user generated ads like “How to get a-16.5rmb-laptop at the McDonald’s Taobao shop!” popped up everywhere driving hordes of traffic to the site. Excellent campaign, and a great example of doing social media right.
Agency: Omnicom Group’s TBWA Worldwide and DDB Group
The Super Value Store is launched by Tribal DDB Shanghai
Published: Feb 2009