Daily Insights

McDonald’s Movie Meals

By: Mackenzie Baker | Dec 14, 2020

McDonald’s channels classic Christmas movie characters for a new holiday promotion that could feed consumer hunger for entertainment-themed experiences. 

Characters including The Grinch, Elf’s Buddy the Elf, and The Griswolds from National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation are a few of the familiar faces headlining McDonald’s new mobile app giveaway. McDonald’s paired the fictional characters with a relatable menu item, which fans can order until December 24. McDonald’s will use its smartphone app to announce a “character of the day” for the next two weeks, with consumers able to win said character’s matching meal for free if they place an order worth at least $1 on the mobile app. McDonald’s will hold the food giveaways until Christmas Eve, which it will close out by gifting free cookies to customers in honor of Santa Claus’ favorite snack. The promotion could boost consumers’ seasonal spirit and drive them to McDonald’s brick and mortar stores to pick up their character cuisine. 

Entertainment-inspired “meal deals” have become a top promotional play for McDonald’s this year, particularly after the success of its collaboration with rapper Travis Scott that saw the brand run out of ingredients because so many consumers came in to order his signature meal. This time, tapping into well known holiday icons could help McDonald’s again drive hunger for its limited-edition deals while appealing to an even larger audience of consumers. Additionally, promoting the specialty deals on its app could boost engagement rates for the restaurant brand, as more consumers will download and repeatedly use the app according to a Gartner report on the topic. The marketing tactic could also help McDonald’s grow digital connections with loyal consumers who have turned to mobile ordering and pickup during the Coronavirus pandemic. 

With its tasty holiday treats, McDonald’s could engage movie buffs and food enthusiasts alike by bringing both audiences to its mobile app. Additionally, the promotion could help the company gather data on which characters and celebrities appeal to consumers, which could set the stage for future icon-item pairings.