McDonald’s McRib – a boneless pork barbecue sandwich – is back for another limited-time offer, and the new Facebook game “The Quest for the Golden McRib” is meant to drum up buzz about this returning product with an “enthusiastic following.” The McRib is back nationwide until November 14. According to Rick Wion, McDonald’s director of social media, “McDonald’s has used gaming as part of campaigns for a few years now and we always see lots of positive feedback and strong engagement from our customers.”
The game is integrated with Google Maps, allowing players to search for 10 virtual golden McRibs that are hidden at McDonald’s locations around the world. MediaPost reports that players will meeting “quirky” characters along the way, including “barbecue-loving unicorns, emo pilgrims and Viking accountants.”
The strategy behind developing the game was to provide McRib fans with “more ways to share.” Players can share their McRib discoveries and game scores with friends via Facebook, and earn virtual badges for their profile pages. Rick Wion tells MediaPost: “We know that fan’s love of the sandwich will also leads to lots of online conversations and our social media team will be on the spot to celebrate the love with our fans.”
The temporary addition of the McRib to McDonald’s national menu spured a 4.8% sales increase for the month of November in 2010 – will the buzz created by social gaming lead to a similar increase in sales this year? McDonald’s will also promote the McRib through traditional advertising, social marketing, and PR.