5 rules for creating an ownable occasion


Monopoly is easily the biggest event in the UK marketing calendar, with over 12 million active participants in 2019 alone. Where other brands attempt to leverage existing cultural moments to stay relevant, McDonald’s has created a unique occasion of its own.


Here’s how:


1. Do a brand job


At its heart, McDonald’s Monopoly is a simple sales promotion mechanic. But on top we built a platform to drive brand engagement. From Snapchat lenses to ‘Mr Monopoly moustache’ props, McDonald’s can flex its ‘feel good’ brand values to create a memorable experience. And consumers love it. Monopoly generates some of McDonald’s highest brand affinity scores because of the emotional value it holds. Winning is ‘in’.


2. A collective occasion depends on inividual experiences


Convenience is key. We don’t make the consumer jump through hoops to participate. Which is why everything we do is a highly relevant experience that puts the customer in control. As a result, our digital engagement rates have grown 50% in the last 3 years. Plus, 75% of all Monopoly prizes are McDonald’s food items, because everyone loves free food.


3. Persistence pays off


It might be hard to remember a time before McDonald’s Monopoly as we celebrate our 14th year. But it wasn’t an overnight sensation. Building up Monopoly as a consistent marketing platform, launched at the same time every year, has created longevity and ingrained it in the collective consumer mindset.


4. Audiences and allies


Distinguish between your target Audience (the mass consumers) and Allies (the super-fans that drive hype and add meaning). Video-game and movie marketing campaigns have to appeal to both mainstream and fan audiences. They’re a great place to learn how to balance your marketing.


5. Never forget who makes it possible


McDonald’s crew members should be just as hyped about Monopoly as the super-fans. So, we created a special ‘Team Edition’ Monopoly game, giving crew members the chance to win prizes and ‘feel good’ moments of their own. By ensuring the crew are also participants, their own excitement, knowledge and passion comes across in restaurants.



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