Automatically generated ads for McDonald's

Abstract

Every day, hungry burger enthusiasts google the address and opening hours of one of McDonald’s 160 restaurants in Switzerland. But despite location extensions that allowed Google to display the corresponding addresses in the AdWords ads, opening hours were still not displayed through the end of 2015.

As a result, users had to click on search results to get the desired information from the website – which goes against McDonald’s ambition to make opening hours and directions as convenient as possible for potential visitors in the vicinity of a restaurant to access. This particularly applies to customers using mobile devices on the go.

Software engineers at Webrepublic have found a way to provide users with exactly the localized information they are looking for in the prominent headline of AdWords ads. Now thousands of McDonald’s patrons can find the right opening hours for their local restaurant thanks to Webrepublic. The integration of the corresponding location extensions into the ads allows users to open navigation to the closest restaurant in Google Maps with just one click.

«Thanks to its creative efforts, Webrepublic was able to achieve something that even Google's tools couldn’t do – and which is essential to our last-mile approach.» - 

Ben Proske, Digital Lead, McDonald’s Switzerland
 

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Project Overview

Background

  • Thousands of McDonald’s customers search for the opening hours of one of the more than 160 restaurants every day.
  • At the beginning of 2016, Google’s location extensions for AdWords do not show opening hours.
  • About two thirds of searches are made with a smartphone while on the go.
  • The majority of searches are for local information such as opening hours and place names.

Goals

  • McDonald’s wants to use AdWords to provide customers looking for a specific restaurant with the information required to find it quickly and conveniently.
  • The solution should be cost-effective and quick to implement.

Measures

  • Software engineers at Webrepublic develop a script that automatically checks over 660 AdWords ads for accuracy regarding opening times every five minutes and adjusts them where necessary. This way, the relevant information is displayed prominently in the headline, i.e. the correct opening hours for the desired McDonald’s restaurant – or if they are closed, the hours for the following day.
  • By linking the ads with the appropriate location extensions, users can start navigation to the corresponding restaurant in Google Maps with a single click.

Results

  • Relevance: Thanks to more than 660 automatically generated ad texts, several thousand McDonald’s patrons know if and how late their local restaurant is open every day.
  • Efficiency: As a result of the highly informative ad texts, most users do not even have to click on the ad. This lowers CTR by 11%. This means that the McDonald's campaign to lead customers to its restaurants runs 11% more efficiently.
  • Reach: Thanks to the systematic expansion of keyword worlds, impressions for the campaign have increased 220% in the first three months. Because of localized information, the ads are shown to users that are more likely to visit a particular restaurant.

«Our target group should be able to find the closest restaurant as quickly and easily as possible.» - 

Ben Proske, Digital Lead, McDonald's Switzerland

Company facts McDonald's

  • Sector: Gastronomy
  • Employees: 7200 (2015)
  • Sales: CHF 701.9 million (2015)
  • Established: 1976
  • Webrepublic customer: since 2015

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