Macdonald impressed by viral campaign

Macdonald Hotels & Resorts has set bells ringing across the UK with participation levels in its innovative viral marketing campaign “Ring the Bell”, exceeding the industry
norm by over 350%.The campaign, targeted at its core corporate and leisure databases, was sent
by email and featured a highly polished mahogany table with brass reception
bell. To start the game the player had to click on the bell which ‘dinged’
before producing three closed brochures. Functioning similarly to a slot
machine, the brochures then opened and the pages started flicking before
stopping and revealing different images from the group’s brochures. If the
player had three matching images they won.

With a prize of £1,000 of Macdonald vouchers up for grabs, apart from
targeting existing customers, losing players were given the opportunity to
play again and were invited to sign up four of their friends to play too. In
doing so, the Group has almost added a further 9,000 names to these
databases for future marketing campaigns.


Commenting on the campaign’s success, Alasdair McNee, Director of Marketing
for Macdonald Hotels said:



“Exceeding industry norms is a great reflection of the effectiveness of
viral marketing. But its success hinges on creating something innovative to
catch the attention but simple enough that people want to get involved. We
spent a lot of time trying to balance the need to capture the imagination of
our target audience whilst promoting our extensive portfolio of hotels.


“Having sent the competition to over 120,000 contacts, to have a
participation rate in the game of over 17%, which is around 350% above the
industry norm of 3.9%, is fantastic. It reinforces that, despite a
competitive market place, customers are always pleased to be involved in
fresh, innovative marketing initiatives.”