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Don’t Interrupt Me; Do Entertain Me

May 19, 2009

Creative, Innovation, Interactive, TV


12884902_mcd047641May 8th Ad Age carried an article about McDonald’s buying a prime time road block on hulu.com. The idea is to deliver viewers 8 hours of uninterrupted primetime viewing, with no commercials. Instead, McDonalds gets a screen surround that will carry a promotional message about their new McCafé drinks and links to their promotional, entertaining microsite.
Couple thoughts on this: first, I love it. Don’t know about you, but having the choice to click on something that I see in my peripheral vision for an extended period of time is much more effective than being interrupted all the time. And, being a dvr-user, guess what – those interruptions never even reach me. Second, once I’m done watching my show, I’m much more likely to be in a “what’s next” mode, and happily click for more entertainment on a microsite. You’ve now got my full attention.
Seems like a great opportunity, but McDonald’s totally blows it in the execution. The McCafé microsite sucks. I personally love the suggested transformation associated with the drinks (commute, becomes commuté), but the execution is painful. Slow-paced and poorly written, these spots don’t match up to their TV spots at all. The usability is even worse. The only immediate action I can take on the site is to view flavors and enter a sweepstakes. No coupon, the share function is buried at the bottom of the page and is not clear about what you’re sharing. And maybe the most aggravating, is that there are no controls to stop the video while you’re browsing the site.
Can’t imagine the investment here for purchasing 8 hours of primetime ad space – and then they direct people to this? Great opportunity, but this first pass is quickly passé!