It's funny. Sometimes things seem like they're worth more than they actually are.
Or, I should say, free McDonald's food for life.* (More on the asterisk in a minute.)
McDonald's is giving away McGold Cards away as part of a campaign to get people to download and use their McDonald's mobile app. To enter you either download the app or send the company an email using the format we'll show you below.
This truly is a smart contest on the part of McDonald's.
For one thing, it creates a mystique about the idea that other people have this secretive card entitling them to free food. A number of celebrities have claimed to have them, but it appears there may be only one true Gold Card that entitles the bearer to eat for free at McDonald's anywhere in the world.
Its owner: Bill Gates, who is the second-wealthiest person in the world, and who clearly can afford a Big Mac. Others apparently have gold cards issued by McDonald's franchisees, which allow them to get free food but only at the restaurants owned by that franchisee.
But even better for McDonald's, the McGold Card's monetary value isn't anywhere near as big as many people might assume. The reason is the little asterisk I talked about above.
While the contest is headlined "Use Mobile Order & Pay on our App and you could WIN FREE McDONALD'S FOR LIFE*" the prize is actually limited to two meals per week (no more than $7) for 50 years.
Do that math, and we're talking about $36,400, which isn't nothing--but I'd suspect it's not as much as many people entering might think.
Also, and this actually works out in the winner's favor, the prize will be awarded in cash, plus an additional amount of money to cover taxes. End of day, the winner will walk away with around $52,350.
Again, nothing to sneeze at. But if you're McDonald's, and you manage to get, say, 250,000 people to download and try your app as a result of this promotion, that works out to about 21 cents per customer--which is a very healthy cost per app download in digital marketing.
So nice work, McDonald's. Of course, in the United States, contests must usually offer an alternative way to enter. So here's the easy way to enter the McDonald's contest that doesn't actually require you downloading an app. It's quite simple.
- Draft an email in which the subject line is just today's date (say, 08/10/18), and the body of the email consists only of your first and last names.
- Send it to email@example.com.
- Maybe repeat tomorrow, too, as only one entry per person, regardless of whether we're talking about an email submission or using the app, is allowed. The deadline for the contest wraps on August 24.
Then sit back and hopefully win, and enjoy your $52,000 worth of McDonald's food between now and the year 2068.