Ad targeting is an advertisement technique where advertisements are placed in specific areas to increase visibility and “clickability” or to give tailor-made ads based on the user’s past behaviors and preferences.
Targeted ads are meant to reach certain customers based on demographics, psychographics, behavior and other second-order activities that are learned usually through data exhaust produced by the users themselves. Ad targeting is also known as targeted advertising.
Ad targeting is meant to deliver ads automatically by using specialized software and algorithms that place ads depending on the user’s data. The most common method for targeting is behavioral targeting because it works by monitoring the user’s online activities anonymously and tracking the content being consumed by the user.
McDonald’s, the world’s leading global food service retailer, with over 37,000 locations in over 120 markets. Over 90% of McDonald’s restaurants worldwide are owned and operated by independent local business people.
McDonald’s wanted to encourage more millennials to install its new McDelivery app. These customers had proven elusive in the highly saturated food-delivery market.
McDonald’s knew that bad weather conditions greatly increased the appeal of food delivery services. So it decided to employ real-time local weather signals to help it deliver ads at the moment rain hit in specific postcodes. These ads were shown during lunch and dinner time and all linked directly to the McDonald’s app in the App Store or Google Play.
McDonald’s developed a mix of mobile ads in conjunction with its creative agency TBWA and media agency Starcom. The ads were targeted to men and women in France aged 18–24.
The ads only showed up when and where it was raining. Following best practices for Facebook ads, the creative introduced the brand clearly and immediately. The ads displayed French streetscapes that were quickly obscured by rain, giving the effect of water beading up on the glass of one’s mobile phone. On-screen messages conveyed the inconvenience of leaving one’s home: “It’s starting to rain near you. Why go out?”
McDonald’s innovative campaign successfully took advantage of local weather conditions to reach people with ads when they would be most relevant. Running from March 27–April 30, 2019, the campaign achieved: