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