Social media play key role in McDonald's 'biggest football promotion' in UK

McDonald's UK has launched what it claims is its biggest ever football promotion, which includes a campaign to encourage families to tweet photos of their children's goal celebrations.

McDonald's UK: New football campaign will have a "disruptive" approach for the first time
McDonald's UK: New football campaign will have a "disruptive" approach for the first time

The McDonald’s Better Play programme has been put together by the company and the Red Consultancy and sister agency Shiny Red, plus ARC London, Razorfish and Armadillo.

As part of the campaign, people can tweet photos of their children’s goal celebrations with the hashtag #CelebrateBetter, with a chance to become a 'player escort' at Euro 2016 in France.

The campaign will also see a series of Community Football Days take place across the country, hosted by McDonald’s and the four Home Nations football associations. The aim is to give more than 13,500 children and young people access to a fun football event in their community.

In addition, McDonald’s is working with Mumsnet, BritMums and a number of parenting bloggers to encourage social media-minded parents to share their grassroots football experiences.

McDonald’s has also relaunched the Better Play website with a new animation to explain the football programme and a mobile-friendly platform to enable parents to find out more about the programme. The website is being supported with traffic drivers and above-the-line banner placements across parenting media throughout the summer, McDonald’s said.

The company said it was using Instagram and Periscope to offer "behind the scenes access" to its activities as part of the football programme, with photography, video and live streams during the summer including its football ambassadors such as Ryan Giggs and Sir Geoff Hurst.

McDonald’s UK hosted its first Facebook Q&A from the platform’s headquarters as England footballer Casey Stoney took questions from fans live on the site.

McDonald’s UK head of marketing Steve Hill said: "We know that grassroots football is at the heart of every community in the UK and we proudly support more than 7,000 accredited clubs, providing new kits and equipment, and our accreditation programmes enable thousands of children to take part in safe, fun and sustainable football coaching. This summer’s activity is about taking it beyond those clubs and celebrating football in all walks of life – from the high profile football season curtain raiser at Wembley this weekend to back garden kickabouts between parents and their children.

"For the first time we are taking a disruptive approach to our football marketing and communications, taking the campaign to the media platforms, social media spaces and events that mums and dads will be frequenting this summer so that we can be part of their conversations and can encourage them to engage with our campaigns.

"In the first few weeks of the campaign we’ve already seen a 10 per cent increase in followers to our Twitter account and  8,000 new people sign up to our football newsletter, and we still have four weeks of the promotion to run."

Mike Morgan, CEO of Red Consultancy, said: "The campaign has presented us with an opportunity to take McDonald’s and its sporting credentials into a series of social media firsts for the brand.

"We have introduced brand ambassadors to new activities such as Periscope and engaged their fan base through video content, Twitter and Instagram. We have built blogger partnerships and are working with grassroots clubs to capture fan celebrations and create social content."

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