Case Study

McDonald’s swiftly adapts services, prioritizing new customer needs

At a time when the world was looking for greater safety and convenience, McDonald’s Brazil pivoted quickly to position itself as a utilitarian brand. They knew that their customers would feel more comfortable spending as little time as possible inside the restaurant itself, and needed to easily communicate that there was a safer, faster way for them to get their favorite meals. To adapt to the changing times, McDonald’s Brazil partnered with Waze and marketing agency DPZ&T for a fresh strategy.

Pioneering a new communication tool

McDonald’s was the first Brazilian brand to take advantage of Waze’s Location Personalities and Order Ahead features. Through Location Personalities, drivers could spot the nearest McDonald’s offering a drive-thru service. Without ever leaving the Waze app, drivers could follow along the directions to the restaurant, and even pay for their meal through contactless payment. “The drive-thru became one of our brand’s main pillars of communication,” says Marketing Manager Lariane Duarte.

Fast food, now even faster

With hundreds of stores in Brazil ready to serve those who ordered ahead, McDonald’s found a way to safely welcome customers inside the restaurant. Together with Waze, the brand launched the Order Ahead feature. Through the feature, customers could see whether there was a McDonald’s nearby from where they could order online, then collect in person. Without leaving the Waze app, a driver could quickly order and pay through their phone. Once they arrived at the restaurant, they could walk in, pick up their meal, and walk right out. This efficient process, aligned with customer needs, greatly reduced time spent indoors.

With this new Waze feature we were able to help consumers to identify on the map which restaurants were open and offering drive-thru, at a time when the search for this facility was highly increasing.
João Branco, CMO/ Marketing Director, McDonald's Brazil

An enthusiastic customer response

Between March and April, McDonald’s achieved an additional 58% engagement rate with their Waze campaign, which is 20% higher than the category average. Additionally, they saw the amount of traffic to their drive-thrus nearly double, and increased navigations to a POS with drive-thru by 22%. After implementing the Order Ahead feature, McDonald’s also measured a 21% increase in brand recall, and served 2.4 million happy customers across their 264 Brazilian restaurants integrated with the feature. Despite all the restrictions that came along in 2020, McDonald’s was able to successfully offer their customers the familiar, safe experience they knew and loved.

The Goal

Let consumers know when there’s a nearby McDonald’s ready to serve them via drive-thru or a quick pick-up.

The Approach

Positioned themselves as a utilitarian brand by launching Location Personalities and Order Ahead, communicating values of safety and convenience.

The Results

Increased navigations to drive-thrus by 1.87x, boosted ad recall by 21%, and grew campaign engagement 58% within one month.

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