McDonald’s Monopoly Biggest SMS Promo Game in U.S.

This year’s the McDonald’s® Monopoly game included a mobile component for the first time in the history of the popular game. It was such a success that Telescope, the same company who handles the infamous American Idol text message voting and who partnered with The Marketing Store to build the McDonald’s SMS campaign, disclosed that it was the largest SMS promotional game by far ever run in the U.S.

Taylor Hunt, Director of the 2008 McDonald’s Monopoly Online/Mobile Game and Head of Digital Promotion Development at The Marketing Store says, “Even though the McDonald’s Monopoly game was the world’s largest annual online promotion (no other promotion has even come close to the number of codes entered or interactions), this year’s game was sent to a new level altogether with the addition of mobile.”

This is really quite an accomplishment because mobile was added into the game fairly quietly. They did not do any advertising of the SMS part of the game and they didn’t put the short code on the game pieces – they only put the SMS instructions on promotional game bags and cups, and mentioned it in 3 out of 5 of the marketing emails sent out to the opt-in database during the game. Still, adding the ability for people to play the game by texting in their game pieces sent the participant numbers soaring.

Even more remarkable is that the customer complaints were lower this year than they have been in the history of the online game. A completely new technology was added into the mix and complaints were lower. That’s impressive.

When I asked Hunt to what she attributed the success of the campaign, she said, “It really came off without a hitch because we did so much planning up front. Detailed planning up front and weekly status meetings during the build of the promotion were keys to have such a smooth launch.”

It should come as no surprise that they are already planning for ’09 now and the ’08 game is not even finished! According to Hunt, “Mobile is in the proposal for ’09 again, and we’re looking to take it to a whole new level.”