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Behind the Success of McDonald’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Campaign

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Behind the Success of McDonald’s 2018 FIFA World Cup Campaign



“We live in an era of disruption; the speed and frequency with which brands connect with customers every day has been transformed dramatically, as consumers are more digitally connected. The key to success for brands is agility; that’s why at McDonald’s we are seeking progress over perfection. As marketers we need to have a high tolerance for risk, we recognized that we need to test new things, fail fast, spot the successes, and scale fast. We collaborated with Facebook because we knew that we could leverage data analytics and insights to help point us in the right direction, supporting our move from mass marketing to mass personalization. This is key to making our customers’ journey more memorable and providing an exceptional personal experience.”

                                      Tarek El Kady, Senior Director, Marketing – McDonald’s MEA


During the 2018 FIFA World Cup – for which it was the official restaurant partner – McDonald’s, the world’s largest restaurant chain, launched an online campaign through Facebook to boost the number of downloads of their mobile application and increase engagement with the brand

McDonald’s worked closely with the Dubai-based integrated marketing agency Studio M, part of the Publicis Group, to develop a campaign that promoted daily discounts which were available exclusively through its official mobile app.

The campaign was called “45 Days of Surprises”; McDonald’s created a calendar of discounts and freebies that changed daily and could be accessed through the McDonald’s mobile app, for which users saw ads throughout Facebook, these ads were tailored to consumers behavior on Facebook. This was the first step to understanding whom from our consumers was engaging with us, and who needed to be driven to towards the consumer-purchasing funnel.

The campaign was rolled out in three phases; during the teaser phase before the 2018 FIFA World Cup, it generated anticipation that “something new” was on the horizon. Once the competition kicked off, it let customers know it was “time to cheer” and to redeem the offers. In the final phase the campaign continued under the banner “the celebration continues”; through the app, people could download and redeem offers for two more weeks after the final World Cup match.

We talked to Tarek El Kady, MEA Senior Marketing Director for McDonald’s Middle East and Africa about their digital campaign on Facebook’s family of apps and services, and the results they achieved.

What was the main goal for the digital campaign that ran on Facebook platforms?

The aim of the campaign was to have a complete performance-driven approach, and to increase the number of downloads, registrations and engagement for our McDonald’s mobile app.

What made you choose Facebook’s marketing solutions out of many alternatives?

Facebook leverages the power of data to provide unique solutions. The advantage that we have with Facebook is that our campaign measurement is rightfully set up, so it enables us to make data-driven informed decisions when targeting to drive down our Cost per Install (CPI). With the integration of Kochava – our mobile app analytics and attribution platform – we were able to work towards a real time measurement approach that resulted in high-cost efficiencies throughout the campaign.

Could you share the results of your campaign? Did you achieve your goals?

We are extremely proud of the results we achieved. We surpassed our KPIs and saw an incremental app downloads growth of 144%. In addition to that, we ended the campaign on a high note and yielded a 77% registration rate of our McDonald’s app.

 Which measurement methods did you use to gain new learnings?

Our primary measurement tool was Kochava, which is our global measurement partner in measuring success rate of our app usage. Measurement in today’s McDonald’s world is a key factor; everything we plan and execute needs to be data centric and with the right technologies in place.

Any recommendations to other businesses?

We recommend thinking data first, where the consumer should be at the center of any plan development. At McDonald’s, we take pride in being customer obsessed, hence all of our communication and media planning is consumer centric; data helps us better understand their journey, what they like, when they convert, when they drop off, etc. Without the right tools in place, none of the above would be possible.


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