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McCafé banks on 'mega influencer' as one-day barista for social campaign with gamification twist

McCafé banks on 'mega influencer' as one-day barista for social campaign with gamification twist

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McDonald’s Hong Kong has often collaborated with celebrities and influencers in campaigns. Recently, it worked with an influencer to promote two new beverages from McCafe, offering a refreshed image to audiences. On 28 June, influencer smilingboris (笑波子) published a post on his Instagram account, informing his followers that he would be a barista for a day. He wrote, “I have been drinking a lot of coffee since I was young, but this is my first time to craft specialty coffee [...] I will fulfill my responsibility to craft every beverage for all of you.”

McDonald’s Hong Kong said the event received positive results. It gained more than three million impressions, over one million reach and 80,000 engagements for all related social posts. Special drinks namely Iced Ovaltine Bubble Latte and Iced Uji Matcha Bubble Latte were promoted by the influencer who wrote that customers visiting the store at Admiralty would also stand a chance to win a special prize. After the event day, smilingboris published another post to conclude the event. He wrote, “I was so happy to craft three beverages in a short period of time. If you didn’t have a chance to try the products, please go to McCafe to order one.”

He also thanked baristas at McCafe for teaching him the skills and knowledge in crafting specialty coffee and beverages. “To be a barista is no easy task. Respect!”

To further engage audiences, smilingboris published another post on 15 July to introduce a gamified IG filter created by McCafé's Instagram account.

“By using a full spectrum of influencers from celebrities, KOLs to micro-Influencers to KOCs (key opinion customers), the campaign adopted a cost-effective and more precise approach to appeal to different customer segments. We successfully engaged and captivated the Millennials through a gamified Instagram filter that highlighted the flavours and beautiful layers of our beverages,” said Tina Chao, chief marketing and digital experience officer of McDonald’s Hong Kong.

She added, “The Instagram filters also helped us drive more coupon redemption and app downloads. We believe that influencers will continue to play a key role in customer engagement and conversion.”

This was the first time that McDonald's Hong Kong worked with a selection of influencers including a "mega influencer" in a campaign as it only worked with micro influencers, adding that working with different tiers of influencers could enable the brand to better leverage the strength of each type of influencers to achieve their marketing goals. However, the team declined to comment further on sales conversions. Currently, smilingboris has over 230,000 on his Instagram account and his YouTube channel boasts more than 913,000 subscribers.

Ivy Wong, founder and CEO of VS Media that collaborated with McDonald's Hong Kong in this campaign, said, "Influencers can help build authenticity and a fanbase as they are closer to audiences compared to celebrities, resulting in better trust among consumers. A comprehensive plan of using various types of influencers, and understanding of their functions, no matter how 'mega' or small they are, are crucial to driving more sales."

McDonald's Hong Kong has been collaborating with celebrities in various campaigns, including singers Nicholas Tse, and Eason Chan. More recently, the restaurant chain partnered with boyband some of MIRROR's members such as Keung To, Anson Lo and Edan Lui in latest campaigns. In the latest campaign celebrating the anniversary of app relaunch, McDonald's Hong Kong said the short film and its trailer were popular, with more than 1.5 million views since launch. The campaign will run for the duration of the value offer period which will end early next month.

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