Free Coffee at McDonald’s is creating buzz…it is a clever marketing strategy to get a slice of the Canadian Java pie! McDonald’s rolled out a new promotion in Canada offering free ‘premium roast coffee’ to consumers between 5:00am to 10:30am for two weeks (April 20 – May 3). No purchase necessary. The current state of economic affairs coupled with Starbucks closing stores and Tim Horton’s facing challenges…this is a good move by the fast food giant to get in on the coffee market in Canada. Coincidentally, Starbucks is also offering free coffee on Earth Day this Wednesday April 22, 2009…for people that bring their own cups. Some people would argue that McDonald’s, Starbucks and Blenz are well…a different cup! The time frame is  the clever part, the promotion runs for two weeks, just enough time to get someone addicted to a new taste!  The challenging economy and price factor definitely plays into McDonald’s favor and there seems to be a hint building a relationship with the consumer as well. Above all, McDonald’s could not have come up with a better way to create buzz for their product…kudos! And there is good chance that people coming in  for a free cup of coffee will make a purchase.
In the Seattle market, McDonald’s is offering free Lattes on Fridays during breakfast hours. 112 restaurants in the Seattle region offer McCafe espresso drinks. People can go to www.unsnobbycoffee.com and print their coupons.

By Teg Brar