2018 Wrap-Up: The Best Fast Food Promotions of the Year
Fast food restaurants really decided to step up their promotional game this year. Maybe they were afraid that they'd be one of those things millennials supposedly are killing. Or maybe they just finally realized how much people love merch. Either way, it led to a ton of, well, creative promotional campaigns from the likes of McDonald's, KFC, Taco Bell and more. These go far beyond some dinky little toy or a branded cardboard box. These are the best fast food promotions of the year.
Following the success of brands like Supreme with their exclusive product drops and highly fashionable apparel lines, unlikely candidates like KFC are getting in on the hype beast life.
2. Surprise Delivery
Speaking of exclusive drops, McDonald's did a promotion where customers who ordered food on UberEats could receive some limited edition swag, like socks, fanny packs, T-shirts and denim jackets. Oh, and we reviewed all of them.
3. Give the People What They Want
Few fast food brands embraced branded merchandise this year more than Taco Bell, so much so that the chain made this list twice. (Keep reading for the other.) BAMKO, the distributor behind the campaign, gave us an inside look at how it developed Taco Bell's mega-popular holiday merch. And The Icebox told us how it developed similar programs for Cinnabon and Auntie Anne's.
4. Social Media integration
As things like UberEats have shown, the kids are all about their smartphones these days. With their app doohickies and filters and whatnot, millennials are pretty much glued to their phones. So, KFC was smart to use Snapchat as a tool for this promotion, a giant Colonel Sanders pool floatie.
5. Taco Bell's Wedding Items
There's the old cliche that the bride and groom never actually get to eat at their own wedding because they're too busy greeting guests and making sure everything runs smoothly (as well as, you know, getting married). To help them out after the festivities, Taco Bell provided not only food, but wedding-themed merchandise like T-shirts.
6. Serious Bling
Like we said before, these companies went far beyond little plastic toys. McDonald's gave away an 18-karat ring with multiple tiers of diamonds, orange sapphires and more, which worked together to resemble the famous Big Mac sandwich.