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Digital Marketing

Why McDonald’s ‘That Place Where Coke Tastes So Good’ Campaign NEEDS An Integrated Search Strategy

Who would have thought it? The world’s leading fast food giants have made a huge faux par when it comes to their latest marketing campaign. ‘That place where coke tastes so good’ is the new ingenious campaign to come from McDonalds.

The campaign so far has hit 4 million plus hits on YouTube, no doubt the inclusion of leading star Mindy Kaling has certainly got everyone “lovin it”.

Despite how big your brand may be, the need for innovative marketing should never be underestimated. The concept at the heart of this campaign is very clear to those search engine savvy marketers, it’s an intelligent way to encourage the late night viewers who happen to be scrolling their mobiles whilst aimlessly watching TV, to head over to Google and search for,“That place where coke tastes so good”.

It’s an amazing example of audience targeted marketing, however, there are some huge flaws.

Integrated Search Fundamentals

Google opens us all up to a vast amount of free information online. This puts the responsibility of ensuring your site is present for all relevant search queries users may search for, firmly in the hands of brand themselves. Google’s search result pages can be a very crowded place and what McDonalds latest campaign shows us is that, even the big players need a helping hand when it comes to being present and visible.

During the TV advert Mindy Kaling encourages users to grab their phone and Google search for ‘That Place Where Coke Tastes So Good’, at first glance, a perfect example of cross channel integration, right?

Well yes, it would be, if there was a dedicated landing page for the campaign sat right at the top of page one of Google. Instead, when you search for the term, McDonalds are nowhere to be seen, doh.

screenshot of integrated search campaign

When you consider the huge number of YouTube hits the campaign has had so far and begin to imagine the number of living rooms the TV campaign has been broadcast in, that’s a monumental amount of search traffic McDonalds’ are simply throwing down the drain. Instead page one of Google is largely dominated by news outlets talking about the brand, effectively capturing and capitalising on this spike in traffic for the search term, more fool you McDonalds.

The Need for an Integrated Search Campaign 

SEO is a slow game and requires a lot of love and attention but most importantly, patience. When done right, your brand will be exposed to a vast amount of what is effectively ‘free’ traffic.

The ad agency has ticked the box, driving people from offline to online but sadly, it stopped there. If you’re unable to achieve that ideal top 3 rank position organically an integrated search campaign, where SEO and PPC advertising work closely together, will ensure your brand is present. The nature of paid adverts within Google means you can instantly be visible for a search query, the nature of the channel is reactive and the perfect solution for instant visibility when you are not quite there yet organically.

This should be a basic requirement if you’re unable to wait for SEO to take effect. A landing page is a minimum requirement; it appears even that slipped the net in the case. When I was first exposed to this advert, I was instantly drawn in to its interactive nature. It wasn’t long until I was left disappointed and longing for a well thought out and user friendly landing page with a free Coke for all, if only.

Had there been an optimised landing page on the McDonald’s website, news sites and internet users across the world might have linked to it, accelerating and supported its top positioning in search. Instead, there’s a number of tech savvy brands that are over optimising to ensure they rank within search and capture the excess of new traffic.

It’s hard to understand this massive SEO faux pas. This story is actually generating searches and page views that anyone can steal. For a Digital marketer like myself, I find it so frustrating that Google presence has been a massive second thought. The campaign had huge potential and I can only hope that other brands learn from this error, integrated search presence is something brands simply cannot ignore.

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Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.