Dynamic Marketing Communiqué

Swedish customers WERE LOVIN’ this brand’s iconic jingle in 2021! Check it out here. [Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing]

July 20, 2023

Miles Everson’s Business Builder Daily speaks to the heart of what great marketers, business leaders, and other professionals need to succeed in advertising, communications, managing their investments, career strategy, and more. 

A Note from Miles Everson:

I love guerrilla marketing! 

For those of you who aren’t familiar with it yet, guerrilla marketing is an unconventional marketing strategy that’s fun, easy to appreciate and execute, and sometimes, inexpensive. 

I personally like reading articles featuring such campaigns. They remind me that advertising a brand or promoting a new offering doesn’t always have to be too formal or conventional. 

Ready to know an example of this marketing strategy? 

Keep reading below. 

Miles Everson
CEO, MBO Partners
Chairman of the Advisory Board, The I Institute

Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing 

Have you heard about the McDonald’s Golden Card

Some say it’s just an urban legend. However, as it turns out in one of the brand’s guerrilla marketing stunts, it’s real! In fact, the card is loaded with LOTS of money—enough to buy its owner a year’s worth of McDonald’s meals. 

In 2021, McDonald’s Sweden gave Swedes a chance to have their own Golden Card for FREE… but there’s a catch: Only one could win it. 

What’s more? 

Consumers could only have their chance to win the card if they solved McDonald’s “riddle” correctly. The brand, together with ad agency Nord DDB, did this through the guerrilla marketing campaign titled… 

The Golden Number

During the summer of 2021, the Nord DDB team were tip-tapping on their phone keypads, only to find out that the sound of the McDonald’s jingle could be made by dialing an actual phone number. 

With this information, the team decided to buy the phone number and use it to create a “secretive raffle campaign.” 

After the loooooong process of acquiring the number, McDonald’s Sweden and Nord DDB began to tease the campaign with subtle, gold-themed packaging changes, name tag differences, and cryptic messages on McDonald’s Sweden’s social media accounts and on billboards across the country. 

The only thing consumers had to do to be part of the draw to win the McDonald’s Golden Card? 

Guess the actual phone number, dial McDonald’s iconic jingle on their phones, and call that number! 

The campaign was officially launched on December 27, 2021 and ended on January 27, 2022. During that time frame, the Golden Number was subtly displayed on staff’s name tags and McDonald’s Sweden’s packaging as a clue. 

Those who understood the purpose of the number immediately dialed it on their phones and were rewarded with a treat on the McDonald’s app, while others wondered what the number was for. 

The Golden Number also made its way into McDonald’s Sweden’s commercials, where the entire number was shown for a second and the audio logo was replaced by the telephone jingle. The brand also encouraged people to call them via outdoor telephone booths. 

At the end of the campaign, McDonald’s Sweden announced the lucky winner who got to take home the Golden Card. 

Was McDonald’s Sweden’s “The Golden Number” campaign effective? 

Finding the right combination of numbers was up to the participants. They either followed the various clues that McDonald’s Sweden gave or simply listened to the sound that came from their phone keypads. 

The campaign took the entire country of Sweden by storm, and lots of Swedes—whether or not they’re McDonald’s lovers—got eager to know the Golden Number and be part of the draw to win the Golden Card. 

As Staffan Ekstam, Marketing Director of McDonald’s Sweden, said: 

“We saw this as an opportunity to spread joy. It was about time for a real McDonald’s enthusiast to get the chance to lay their hands on a gold card. We were really happy to see how eager people were about figuring out the right combination, and how many people joined in the raffle. If you managed to play the jingle on your keypad and dial the Golden Number – well, then you deserve to be in the running of winning the Golden Card.” 

Here are the results of the campaign: 

  • Over 5,000 Swedes called McDonald’s Sweden through the Golden Number.
  • The campaign garnered over 4.5 million impressions throughout its duration.
  • McDonald’s Sweden received more than 55,000 interactions with Swedes across various social media platforms.
  • McDonald’s recorded more than 43,000 downloads of its app during the campaign.
  • McDonald’s Sweden bagged the following awards:
       –    Shortlist at the D&AD Awards 2022
       –    Silver award at the CLIO Awards 2022
       –    Merit award at The One Club Awards 2022

    Clearly, these figures and recognitions show “The Golden Number” campaign was effective in getting Swedes to engage with McDonald’s and with one another, and in sparking enthusiasm across the country. 

    Good job, McDonald’s Sweden and Nord DDB! 


    The McDonald’s jingle is one of the world’s most famous melodies. It has become so remarkable that it eventually became part of McDonald’s branding. 

    That’s why adding an exciting twist to the jingle through “The Golden Number” campaign was just… CLEVER! 

    Because of that, not only did McDonald’s turn the melody into an interactive experience for consumers but also showcased their prowess in conducting brilliant guerrilla marketing strategies. 

    According to Felix Jörneman, one of the Nord DDB creatives behind the campaign: 

    “It’s always difficult to know how a campaign will be received in advance, but the reception from McDonald’s fans has been enormous and the fact that about 5,000 people have called is a bit bizarre. Correct me if I’m wrong, but I think McDonald’s is the only brand where the sound logo is also their phone number. That’s pretty cool if you ask me.” 

    We hope you enjoyed today’s guerrilla marketing feature! 

    Stay tuned because next week, we’ll talk about another awesome campaign by another company. 

    It’s time to create your own campaign that shows why your target market is LOVIN’ your brand! 

    (This article is from The Business Builder Daily, a newsletter by The I Institute in collaboration with MBO Partners.) 

    About The Dynamic Marketing Communiqué’s
    “Thursdays: Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing”

    Jay Conrad Levinson (1984) said that Guerrilla Marketing “works because it’s simple to appreciate, easy to execute, and inexpensive.”

    Guerrilla Marketing is unconventional.

    Looking beyond the traditional ways of advertising, marketers, and advertisers need to spice things up in order for their brand to have campaigns that not only make an impact but also stick to their target market’s mind.

    Guerrilla Marketing usually aims to have direct contact with consumers.

    This type of direct contact should spark an emotional reaction that leads to consumers effectively remembering the brand.

    It’s about making a big impression and making that impression last a long time (if not forever).

    Guerrilla Marketing can be inexpensive.

    The effect of this is being able to create a buzz around the brand, and the strategy used to market it. Almost everything is passed around through word-of-mouth.

    Word-of-mouth is one of the greatest outcomes and it usually doesn’t cost anything.

    This is every business’ or brand’s dream!

    Every Thursday, we publish tips, examples, and other useful content on unconventional ways of marketing and promotion.

    Learn more about how to grab your target market’s attention and make an amazing first and lasting impression without having to spend a lot of money.

    Businesses don’t really need to spend much for a guerrilla campaign. You do not need a big budget to be successful. You just need creativity and a good imagination.

    Hope you’ve found this week’s guerrilla marketing insight interesting and helpful.

    Stay tuned for next Thursday’s Gorillas of Guerrilla Marketing!


    Kyle Yu 
    Head of Marketing 
    Valens Dynamic Marketing Capabilities 
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