Partnering with popular gaming companies
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In March, Burger King launched a promotion with ZeptoLab, the creator of the “Cut The Rope” mobile gaming app. The promotion offers exclusive toys and game levels featuring a candy-loving monster named Om Nom, the game’s key character.
During the promotion, new toys will be released each week, alongside all-new “Cut The Rope” game levels, Burger King said in a statement. When guests buy a Kids Meal, they get a toy and a custom code that unlocks the themed game.
“Partnering with an innovative company like ZeptoLab allows us to offer families exclusive digital content they can't get anywhere else,” said Burger King Worldwide’s executive vice president and global chief marketing officer, Flavia Faugeres, in a statement.
Similarly, in 2012, McDonald’s China developed a partnership with Rovio’s "Angry Birds." For the promotion, Rovio created special "Angry Birds" game power-ups that auto activated when customers “checked in” at McDonald’s restaurants, according to Vivian Zhang, spokeswoman for McDonald’s China.
One of the keys to the partnership — as with Burger King’s with ZeptoLab — was exclusive mobile game play. Customers had to “check in” from a McDonald’s restaurant to access the game.
“China is the second largest market for "Angry Birds" app downloads in the world, so it was a natural fit for us to partner with the most popular game and leading technology provider,” said Christine Xu, chief marketing officer for McDonald’s China in an email.
Both Burger King’s and McDonald’s China’s mobile apps hold marketing promise, said Gartner's Blau. Core to these apps is that the marketing starts in-store — with a purchase or check-in —and continues after the consumer leaves, he noted.
“It’s about bringing customers into the restaurant and putting the customer first,” he said.