In case you needed any further convincing that mobile advertising is becoming increasingly central to any integrated marketing or advertising strategy, you need only look to major brands such as Budweiser and McDonalds. The mammoth beer producer and the fast food giant both recently stepped up their mobile advertising efforts with newly-unveiled campaigns; Budweiser for its Black Crown Beer, and McDonalds for its Fish McBites.
Budweiser is running its campaign within Rolling Stone’s mobile site, while McDonalds is running theirs through ESPN’s. The Bud campaign in particular, was designed to amplify the iconic beer brand’s presence on Facebook. This follows something of a trend, in which we’ve seen marketers increasingly looking toward mobile as a means of bolstering their presence on social media.
Major Brands, Early Adopters
Not only are Budweiser and McDonalds two of the most recognizable brands in the world, they’ve also both been early adopters in terms of mobile marketing.
Budweiser has been building its presence in the mobile space since 2009, when it ran mobile ads for its Bud Light Lime brand within the Weather Channel’s mobile site and iPhone app.
Two years later the beer giant further escalated its mobile efforts by engaging consumers through mobile ads that led them to the Budweiser Facebook page and Pandora music stations where they could further interact with the brand.
Then during the beer company’s inaugural “Made in America” music festival last year, Budweiser utilized mobile as a medium for fans to connect and engage with musicians playing at the festival.
McDonalds also has a history of operating successfully in the mobile space. Recently the fast food giant ran its sixth iAd campaign, promoting company products and offering the kind of interactive experience that would be hard to deliver outside of the mobile sphere.
These latest escalations on the mobile front can be read as indicators that both brands are seeing a good ROI from mobile and seem willing to devote more resources to it.
McDonald’s Interactive Fish Trump Bud’s Dud of a Banner Ad
But while both brands seem to have now fully committed themselves to the mobile space, McDonalds’ latest effort has been better received than Budweiser’s. The main reason analysts and consumers seem to be more impressed by the McDonalds ad, is the greater level of interactivity it offers.
“The brand is based on experience and customers would expect something more immersive and entertaining,” explains Steven Duesbury of the Acquity Group. “I also thing the approach of literally inviting customers to play with their food shows real confidence.”
By tapping on the McDonalds Fish McBites ad users are directed to an interactive rich media experience that enables them to learn more about the product while using digital fish to create musical remixes. McDonalds is also using this latest mobile campaign to promote its Mouthoff McDonalds app.
Budweiser’s latest effort in support of Black Crown, on the other hand, is regarded as less appealing. The Bud mobile campaign consists merely of a banner ad with the message “The New Budweiser Black Crown. Discover Taste.” But unlike the engaging McDonalds ad, Budweiser provides no real incentive to click on the banner and go further into the campaign.
“The Budweiser Black Crown mobile ad campaign is not going to win any gold crown,” opines Appitalism CEO Simon Buckingham. “There are no incentives to click on the banner ad and when you do, you are simply taken to the product’s Facebook fan page where you get to learn more about the product. This particular and new Budweiser campaign simply falls flat.”
Since a big part of the incentive behind the Budweiser campaign was to increase the beer brand’s social media presence, the fact that they didn’t take a more interactive, engaging approach seems like an opportunity wasted.
The Mobile Advantage
With the Internet being redesigned for delivery across mobile devices, formulating a working mobile strategy is becoming increasingly essential for brands of all sizes. One of the things that most appeals to advertisers and consumers about the mobile space, is the high level of interactivity it affords. Certainly in terms of devising your own mobile strategy going forward, these two latest campaigns from McDonalds and Budweiser provide good examples of what to do and what to avoid.
When historians look back on this commercial and cultural period, they will likely describe it as a time when the barriers between the physical and digital experience began to erode.