Why McDonald's is jumping on the live game show craze

Actor Alfonso Ribeiro and game show personality Wink Martindale will host the show on Facebook Live on Wednesday.

(Image via McDonald's YouTube account).
(Image via McDonald's YouTube account).

OAK BROOK, IL: As McDonald’s gears up to host a game show on Facebook Live on Wednesday, its communications team is more than aware of the risks.

"All you have to do is type into Google ‘TV show bloopers,’ and you know what we are concerned about," said Jano Cabrera, SVP of corporate relations at McDonald's. "That’s the reality of it. If you’re going to do this, you have to go all in. We want this to feel genuine, authentic, and fun."

The fast-food brand is vying to get the attention of young consumers by streaming the show, called 1-2-3 That’s a Meal!, to promote its $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu. Actor Alfonso Ribeiro, best known for the role of Carlton on The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, and game show personality Wink Martindale will host the show, which is set to stream at 6 p.m. EST on January 10 on McDonald’s Facebook page.

Pre-selected participants will appear on the show, but others can play along by commenting on social media for a chance to win a $123 Arch Card.

"We are trying to foster a live conversation where people can see a game show, participate via the chat, and send in questions in that way," said Cabrera.

McDonald’s began planning the campaign with its longtime PR partner, Golin, in October. It came up with the idea for a live game show because it wants to surprise young consumers to get their attention and cut through the clutter.

"We have erred on the side of variety and fun [with the prizes]," said Cabrera. "We are covering all our bases with this."

Customers can enter the sweepstakes January 4-14 by taking a picture with a $1 $2 $3 Dollar Menu item, making their "best game show celebration face," and sharing the image on Twitter or Instagram with the hashtags #123DollarMenu and #Sweepstakes while tagging @mcdonalds.

One grand prize winner will have the opportunity to win an ultimate sports fan stadium tour, music lovers summer festival experience, or a gamers’ paradise console pack.

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