McDonald’s McCafe Promo for Atlanta is Great Advertising

McDonald’s feels the pain of Atlanta traffic and takes the opportunity to do some clever advertising.

McCafe Latte
Anyone who lives north of Atlanta and works in the city likely drives in via the Ga. 400 (Georgia 400) toll road. You guessed right if you imagined that driving Ga. 400 home from work at 5:30 on a summer afternoon is not something that most suburban Atlantans look forward too. It’s flat, hot and backed up with traffic–a great time to catch up on your talk radio or get into a mindless conversation with a salesman.

My Mom sent me this news that today, drivers will be able to come home from work via Ga. 400 without having to throw a couple of quarters into the basket at the toll booth from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on June 3 thanks to McDonald’s.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle elaborates:

To mark the launch of its new line of McCafe beverages, the Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Operators Association will treat commuters to free toll payments and free specialty coffees. McDonald’s owner/operators will pick up the tab for drivers passing through Ga. 400 toll booths and will hand out free “Be Our Guest” cards for complementary McCafe coffees at Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Restaurants.

The gift cards are redeemable for a free small hot McCafe coffee or a free medium iced McCafe coffee.

“Just as our new McCafe beverages offer an escape from the daily grind, we’re offering a free pass for commuters eager to get to their destinations Wednesday afternoon,” said John Tamasi, president of the Greater Atlanta McDonald’s Operators Association, in a statement. “We want to thank our guests with free toll payments during those two busy hours on Wednesday and invite these commuters to our hundreds of local restaurants to enjoy an iced or hot McCafe beverage.”

Why the excitement about this? No matter how many bailouts and stimuli the U.S. economy sustains, I’m not so sure I’ll be buying my lattes at fast food restaurants. Never-the-less, I think this is an excellent way to advertise a product. Atlanta drivers can be comforted that there actually will be a positive about the trip home on Ga. 400 today, albeit small. This little McDonald’s freebie might even gain some ground toward replacing the blaring voices from the drive-in window speaker that linger in the mind with a warm feeling inside that transcends expresso.

Ga. 400 from Google Street View

Emory Rowland

Emory Rowland is editor and keeper of the flame at Clickfire. He's a fanatical blogger, entrepreneur and builder of Internet things from way back. Emory's love for social media and success with organic search led him to start a SEO consulting venture. Apart from the Internet, he could be considered by many as pretty worthless. More...


  1. Sinead O Donovan

    I live in Ireland and even though McDonalds coffee isn’t great, I wish they’d give us free stuff instead of charging double the price.

  2. Sylvia

    That is a great thing they did! I for one really appreciate that and it makes me look towards McDonalds in a different light. Would other joints do the same? I would settle for plain coffee but they’re giving out specialty ones too! For travellers like me I salute this!

  3. This is indeed a very good move by McDonalds and I am glad to see them doing something to get their reputation back after they came under fire for serving unhealthy food. This is really a good gimmick on their part.

  4. It’s a tremendous promotion idea, but the biggest problem with buying coffee from McDonalds is that it’s buying coffee from McDonalds. As a friend likes to say: “I’ll have two Big Macs and large fries.” – “And what will you have to drink with that?” – “An espresso.”

    If the smell of grease lingering over one’s coffee isn’t bad enough, there’s quite a lot wrong with mixing fast food with specialty coffee. I’m very happy for Starbucks, despite the fact that coffee is burned 99% of the time.

  5. Emory Rowland

    What a contrast in brands. May Starbucks never offer fried food.

  6. Another great advertising strategy by McDonalds. They really are good at marketing that is why even if they don’t have the best burger, coffee, etc but still they get to be the best in their field.

  7. Sounds like a nice coffee, the usual McDonalds coffee isnt very good. Good marketing stint by McDonalds!

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