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McDonald’s Promotes Spicy Menu, Facebook in India

Social media are taking hold in India, where Facebook opened its first office just five months ago, and where its users reportedly numbered  15 million then. So it’s not surprising that McDonald’s first Facebook marketing campaign is designed as something of a social-media tutorial.

McDonald’s on Monday introduced a new four-item “Spicy Delights” menu in India after weeks of hints on the McDonald’s /India website that something big was coming. The teases included a link to the chain’s local Facebook page where visitors could watch a three-and-a-half-minute YouTube video called “The Great Spicy Speculation.” Oddly set to bouncy banjo music, it takes viewers through a series of online conversations (showing how they’re done) about the menu on Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc. The video ends by suggesting viewers can learn more at www.myspicy.in. But what that site initially offered was another showing of “The Great Spicy Speculation.” It now is being revamped.

McDonald's "Spicy Speculation" video tours a variety of social-media sites.

McDonald’s beefless Indian core menu includes the Chicken Maharaja Mac, McVeggie and Veg Surprise and McAloo Tikki (a fried, breaded potatoes-and-peas patty). The Spicy Delights menu adds four new items with some flavor and sass: the McSpicy Chicken burger, Big Spicy Chicken Wrap, McSpicy Paneer (a soft cheese) and Big Spicy Paneer Wrap. The items reportedly are priced between 85 and 100 rupees ($1.90 to $2.46).

McDonald’s has just a few more than 100 locations in India now, but its developmental licensee Hardcastle Restaurants Private Ltd. Recently announced plans to spend more than $100 million to double the store count over the next three years. Thirty stores will be added this year, following the opening of 33 in 2010.

The "Schmancy App"

In New Zealand, McDonald’s also is running a Facebook promotion tied to new menu items, but this effort is a bit more humorous. The chain recently expanded its premium-price “M Selections” menu in New Zealand and Australia. These include the Angus the Great burger and NYC Benedict Bagel and Boston Deli Bagel breakfast items. Advertising uses the tagline, “Not Schmancy. Just a Little Bit Fancy.”

Visitors to McDonald’s/New Zealand Facebook page find the “Schmancy App.” With it, fans can design a customized and oh-so-schmancy coat of arms. Soon they’ll also be able to add a fancy-schmancy frame around photos or discover their true “schmancy name.”

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