McDonald's 'Pay With Lovin' Pays Off In WOM, Intent

McDonald's realized the largest gain among Super Bowl advertisers with its “Pay with Lovin'” ad, and an increase in purchase consideration, although overall perception of the brand hasn't improved much to date, according to YouGov BrandIndex survey results.

McDonald's' word-of-mouth reached its second-highest levels in about 18 months at the end of the two weeks following the Feb. 1 game, the period during which the QSR randomly chose customers to receive free meals in return for acts demonstrating love or kindness.

WOM saw a five percentage-point bump, with 29% of adults 18 and over reporting that they had talked about McDonald's with friends and family over the past two weeks, compared to 24% just prior to the campaign launch.



On game day, 36% of adults said they would consider making their next fast food purchase at McDonald’s; 11 days later, 39% said the same. One possible reason for the increase: people hoping to be chosen randomly for a free meal or watch others asked to perform a task, says YouGov.

However, the BrandIndex surveys didn't find much of a boost in perception based on responses to its Buzz score, which asks: "If you've heard anything about the brand in the last two weeks, through advertising, news or word of mouth, was it positive or negative?" Buzz scores can range from 100 to -100.  

McDonald's had a neutral (zero) score just before the Super Bowl. In the next couple of days, it dipped to -1. At the end of the two-week promo period, on Valentine's Day, the score was 3.  

YouGov BrandIndex interviews 4,300 people each weekday from a representative U.S. population sample. Respondents are drawn from an online panel of more than 2 million individuals. It reports a margin of error for this research of plus or minus 3%.

Separately, Networked Insights, which tracks consumer reactions on social media only, reports that daily conversations about McDonald's increased from 30,100 to 39,700 in the two weeks after its Super Bowl ad.

This tracking shows 17% of the post-game conversations being positive, versus 6% negative; 37,000 consumers expressing "amusement, excitement, love or trust" for the brand; and positive emotion toward McDonald's on social media having increased by 20% since the Super Bowl.

Amobee Brand Intelligence (ABI) tracking found that during the game itself, McDonald's was the most-favored QSR advertiser on social media, although 90% of its tweets were for shout-outs to other brands.

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