Forget cash, cards and mobile. McDonalds customers can now pay “with love”

McDonalds is taking its catchphrase “I’m lovin’ it” to a whole new level this month, by allowing customers in US stores to forego payment in return for expressions of love.

The campaign, which will run for two weeks including Valentine’s Day, will see diners chosen at random each day between 6am and 6pm. In lieu of actual money, these lucky few will be asked to give affection in the forms of hugs and (air)kisses, to call their parents to tell them they love them, or even to spread the goodwill by doing a little dance.

While some may question the authenticity of performing an act of love solely on the promise of free junk food, the marketing stunt could prove to be a genius way to boost overall sales under the guise of giving away gifts. While only a fraction of visitors will actually receive a free lunch, the brand is likely to make up the difference from higher-than-usual customer numbers – especially given that the scheme was promoted through a high-profile Superbowl advertising campaign earlier this week.

The scheme has generated some much needed positive press for the fast food franchise giant, which last year suffered a larger than expected decline of 1.7% in US sales. Plans to extend its Russian presence have also been put on hold following the collapse of the rouble and ongoing political tensions, and the company recently faced an outcry when a string of customers in Japan found some unpleasant additions to their food, including a human tooth in a portion of French fries.


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