McDonald’s Turns Their App Icon Into a Promotional Idea and Wins Awards in September

European digital marketing research company (previously Best Marketing International) monitors almost 300 digital award competitions Worldwide. Each month we handpick our personal TOP 3 amongst all the regional winners. Three years and hundreds of campaigns later, we were faced with a question: what makes a great campaign? It seems creativity and cool gimmicks is all it takes to grab a Gold Lion. We, on the other hand, see results as equally important. Our goal is to chase down fresh successful campaigns from all around the world and gather further information from all available sources.

Time for a wrap-up as we are now entering a brand-new marketing season. Prepare for McDonalds VS Burger King Halloween pranks and cute viral Christmas videos. But prior to all this holiday frenzy, allow us to introduce are latest award picks. We were happy to see some variety; interesting campaigns from Asia, Africa and Europe. We actually spotted a very clear trend this month: service based marketing. The traditional campaign format has been replaced by brands offering useful long-term apps, platforms, speed-tracking monks (not kidding here), anything you can imagine really. Surely, we’ll be talking a lot about this trend at our events and upcoming articles, but for now, let’s take a closer look at this month’s favourites: McDonald’s Arabia’s ‘Promoticon’, adidas’ ‘Green Light Run’ and Selmark’s ‘Undercover Advisors’.



First Place: McDonald’s ‘The Promoticon’ by TBWA\RAAD (UAE, Loeries winner)

The McDonald’s Delivery app is just your ordinary food app. It’s fast and very simple to use. But nowadays, people have tons of apps to choose from and most of them tend to be forgotten after the initial download. Thus, the challenge for McDonald’s Arabia was to encourage people to use the app once they have downloaded it. Dubai based TBWA\Raad came up with the idea of using the app icon design as media. Depending on the current promotion, the app icon is continuously updated to look like the free product customers get with their order through the McDelivery app. The result: zero spend on app development, 80% increase in downloads and massive increase in orders across the Middle East.


Why we love it:

We loved the simplicity of the Promoticon. If you look at your phone’s app library, you’ll probably find a handful of apps that you never use. Branded apps can be cool and even useful at times, but without giving users an actual reason to use them, it’s really a lost opportunity.


2nd Place: adidas ‘Green Light Run’ by TBWA HAKUHODO (Japan, AD STARS winner)

Tokyo has a staggering 15,772 signals – compared to NYC’s 12,460 and London’s 6,252 – making it nearly impossible to complete an uninterrupted city run. To celebrate the opening of the Brand Core Store Harajuku, adidas figured they should turn to the powerful runners’ community. They used traffic data provided by the local police department and considered account traffic light patterns, distance, timing and safety issues. As a result, they created an epic marathon across Tokyo. 30 lucky runners were selected from 180 applicants nationwide to take part. This amazing stunt resulted in 151% increase in Facebook engagement and ad value equivalent of 337%.

Why we love it:

Sports brands are all about engaging with their loyal community and Nike has been a clear dominator in this field: apps, exclusive merch, events, technology and of course the actual sports gear. It’s almost like a religion. However, fuelled by the massive athleisure trend, adidas has been quickly catching up. adidas doesn’t stand just for streetwear and squatting slavs, they actually have some top notch running products and they too are taking steps towards connecting runners from all over the world. Green Light Run is exactly the type of innovative stunt marketing we would expect from a brand like adidas.


3rd Place: Selmark ‘Undercover Advisors’ by Grey (Spain, El Sol Festival winner)


Selmark is a Spanish family-owned business dedicated to providing women with intimate apparel that best suits their body shapes and lifestyles for 40 years. Their aim is to empower women of all shapes and ages. Puberty is undoubtedly a very hard period both for teenagers and their mothers. But being a moody teenager, you would never ask direct advice from your mother, which leaves the latter in a very tricky situation, because they have to handle all the s*** that their daughters are going through. Selmark wanted to give mothers the opportunity to discreetly provide guidance and support to their struggling daughters. The brand’s digital campaign was handed over to mothers. A secret database allowed users to write their advice and share it through a selected media (relevant to the younger demographic). The landing detects the IP from which the message was sent. When daughters connect with their home wifi and visit the page where the message was posted, a banner will pop up with the secret piece of advice from their mother.

Why we love it:

Selmark’s campaign is walking the thin line between creepy and personalised. Despite the creepiness, it still comes across as innovative and interesting. An emergence of a new concept where media planning is handed over to the consumer. These empowerment campaigns are getting very repetitive therefore it’s nice to see something fresh coming from this segment.

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