Do you want bigger fries with that?

As you probably know, especially if you’re reading the Day-By-Day blog, I’m currently in tech for Godspell.  Tech means two things:  late nights and junk food.

Last night, at just after 10 PM, I regressed to the ol’ standby:  McDonald’s.  Yep, those no-sauce-but-salted Chicken McNuggets in the picture below are mine.

But I didn’t take that pic to freak you out about my sodium and saturated fat intake.  I took that photo to show you what was writ large on the fry packaging.

See, it’s that time of year – it’s McDonald’s Monopoly time.

This whopper-sized promotion has been in use by the fast food giant since 1987 (!) and shows no sign of going directly to promotional jail without passing go.  This is the first year, however, that I noticed a little tweak to the campaign.

On the box of medium fries, it says, “Want game pieces?  Get large fries!”

Mickey D’s knows that people love their Monopoly.  And they decided to hold back those coveted game pieces for the super-sizers in their world in an attempt to convert customers to some bigger sizes and bigger bucks in the future.

And I’d bet that it works.

It’s a fine marketing line, and it can be very effective to remind people what they are missing, especially when it’s only a few cents more.

I couldn’t help but wonder if there was a way to say to someone sitting in the balcony who got their tickets at TKTS, “Want a better view?  Buy tickets in advance on”  Or what about messaging “Want more legroom?” to a full price buyer about upgrading to aisle seats.  (Airlines do this often.)  Or even a group sales call-to-action like, “Want to save money on your tickets?  Bring friends to the theater!”

I didn’t even know Monopoly was going on until I looked at my fries.

And our customers may not even know about some of our other options unless we remind them.

And since it’s always easier to get a current customer to buy a little more than to get a new customer to buy in the first place, “reminder marketing” could be as profitable as a hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place.

Got a comment?  I love ’em, so comment below!  Email subscribers, click here, then scroll down, to say what’s on your mind!)



– 6 Days to Godspell!  Read the day-by-day account of producing Godspell on Broadway here.

– Spend an hour with me at Godspell tech!  Click here for info on how!

– Tune up your marketing materials at my new seminar!  Learn more here!

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  • Matt says:

    Yes, but you only get game pieces on the medium drink. So if you get the combo, you get 2 pieces on the medium drink OR you upsize and get only 2 pieces on the large fries.
    Someone goofed.

  • Sue says:

    Despite the wording on the package of fries, I believe that the original, perfectly worded marketing phrase is, “Would you like fries with that? Somehow the “would you like…” leads to a “yes” response. Of course I would like them. I don’t want the extra calories, sodium or expense, but I would like some of those fries….
    Which leads me to the idea with which today’s blog hit me in the face: Why not a Broadway (or off-Broadway) Bingo? Are there enough producers in cahoots to make something like that happen? Design a 2012 Bingo card, and when a theatre-goer fills up a row or column with shows seen, they get……. a free ticket to one show? A tee-shirt? Whatever makes economic sense.
    By the way, the upgrade pricing already exists with Broadway’s premium seats, although texting reminders is a good idea. I have sprung for premium seats on occasion. But I usually bide my time and try to get them when the prices come down out of the stratosphere, a day or two before the performance I want to catch. This only works when I am flexible regarding performance dates.

  • ‘reminder marketing” could be as profitable as a hotels on Boardwalk and Park Place.’
    LOL Well put

  • Krista says:

    One of the most important things to me when I go see a show is my view. Sometimes theater balconies offer great views, others don’t. When I sit down in a theater and realize I don’t have a great seat, I am wishing then I would have doled out more cash for a better view.
    What about using your ticket, just like McDonald’s uses their fries container, to suggest an upgrade in location- “want better seats”. In the balconies have ticketing agents with kiosks that you can approach to see if better seats have opened up on the floor. (We all know that house seats can become available at the last minute). You have a captured audience, that is wrapped up in the atmosphere who are more willing to make the upgrade than when they originally purchased their tickets 3 weeks ago sitting at a computer.

  • Kmaverick says:

    I think it goes into the piece too around if people know what they’re seeing. I’ve always thought theater needed better “seat view” technology. Look at Madison Square Garden – it’s unreal. You know exactly what your view is. With Broadway, you’re making a guess for most theaters, there isn’t much extra info on leg room (totally agree on your airline analogy) – maybe if that changed it could work.

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