These Burger Design Contests From McDonald's Are Brilliant Marketing Stunts

my burger mcdonalds contest

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In Europe, McDonald’s is executing a crowdsourcing project brilliantly.They’re called “My Burger” contests, which allow regular people to design their own McDonald’s sandwich with the hopes of one day seeing it on the menu.

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They serve three major purposes:

Consumer engagement — Contests like these are perfect for getting people involved with a brand. Not only do they get to do something fun involving McDonald’s, but they get to see their ideas showcased on a website and potentially earn a big-time payoff by seeing their sandwich in a McDonald’s one day.

Builds hype — It gets the word out for the brand in a social way that can’t be replicated by simple print or television ads. The interaction factor inherently makes the contest social — people want to show their friends their awesome ideas.

Product development — McDonald’s may get a true winner out of these contests. Its R&D department is constantly churning out more ideas, and they could always use help. The McRibster, for instance, won Austria’s “Mein Burger” competition and ended up generating a ton of buzz for McDonald’s.

And better yet, some of the key risks involved with crowdsourcing contests are mitigated in McDonald’s case. For instance, it doesn’t run a risk of angering those that would’ve gotten the business. Professional designers have grown to hate it when companies try to get work done for free instead of going to them.

Take notebook maker Moleskine, who had to go on damage control when its contest backfired as designers called for a boycott. There aren’t many professional burger design consultants out there that will be mad at McDonald’s for having a contest.

So, what have the amateur burger designers come up with this year?

Spain and Germany have announced five finalists each for their 2012 contests. Do you think any of them will be a hit?

McPanther — beef patty with ketchup, lettuce, onion, tomato, bacon and melted mozzarella on a cheese hard roll

Crockstahzumjot — crispy chicken patty and black forest ham with sour cream sauce, ketchup, lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese on a ciabatta roll

Laughinator — beef patty and ham with sour cream sauce, onions, lettuce, cheddar cheese and hard cheese on a pretzel roll

McHaudegen — three beef patties with BBQ sauce and honey mustard sauce, a lettuce and salad mix, bacon and cheddar cheese on a sesame seed bun

McÖrms — two beef patties and chorizo with salsa sauce and curry chilli sauce, an asian salad mix, onions, jalapeños and cheddar cheese on a sesame seed bun

McFlanders — pepper-topped beef patty with caramelized onion sauce, lettuce, onion, tomato, bacon and melted Emmental cheese on a French roll

McCantabrica — crispy chicken patty with bacon-flavored cheese, blue cheese sauce, crispy onions and tomato on a ciabatta roll

Duck Sauce — grilled chicken patty with spicy BBQ sauce, crispy onions, lettuce and Pepper Jack cheese on a French roll

McChop — beef patty with creamy mustard sauce, grilled onions, tomato, red pepper, bacon and melted Emmental cheese on an Iberico roll

McBis — crispy chicken patty with Monterey Jack cheese, sweet mustard, tomato, bacon and crispy onions on a semolina-dusted bun

Even the in-house R&D doesn't work all the time

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