That place where Coke Taste SO Good, Insights from McDonalds New Campaign

Are you looking for that place that Coke taste SO good? That’s probably because you saw a TV commercial where actress Mindy Kaling tells you to search on Google for that term while she waits.

While you haven’t found the place where Coke tastes so good what you will get is some insights into how integrated search advertising works.

Tapping into Search as a Human Behavior

Search is a human behavior. When we were cave people we would climb out of our caves and searched for food. Technology like search engines and mobile phones makes this even easier. Now if we are hungry we use our mobile phones to search for “restaurants near me”, we search on Seamless, Deliveroo, GrubHub,  or even Yelp and we make sure we find what we want to eat. Now that advertisers are actually understanding search is a powerful behavior they are trying their best to influence how and what consumers search for. Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer of McDonald’s for the United States told the New York Times that the campaigns were created to target how twenty-somethings use their phones while watching TV and how they discover information they trust.

Cross Channel Integrated Search

None of this is new and most of the sites who covered this campaign are calling it brilliant and are mind blown that a brand is using TV to influence and encourage search behavior. I show you how to do this and more in this post about integrated search and content marketing. The campaign is great but it’s not the first to do this and won’t be the last.

TripAdvisor Has Done it Better
TripAdvisor has done this the best so far.

Trivargo has done great as well.


McDonalds is late to the game but at least they are in the game and getting results.

Searches For “That place where Coke Taste SO Good” have spiked on Google Trends and will continue to spike.



So have related terms for the people who can’t follow directions.


The spike in searches are in very specific regions so far.  I’m guessing these are where the ads have been airing.


If McDonalds bids on this term in paid search it would be dirt cheap right now.

What makes this McDonald’s campaign interesting and different is that they are:

1.Being Direct in Their Request: Mindy Kaling is asking you to specifically search for the term and leaving you in suspense. Where TripAdvisor uses their campaign to also suggest that you will have a better trip if you booked with them.
2.Partnering with Google: Mindy is asking you to search specifically on Google instead of leaving where you search up to you. This is because McDonalds is working with Google to help gather data in this campaign.

Ms. Wahl told The New York Times that “Google didn’t give us any tricks on search or anything,”  adding that gaming the system would have gone against the whole idea of the campaign. “What they’re helping us do is understand if people are really searching as a result of this, and offering close feedback and collaboration in terms of what’s happening with this with real behavior.”

This is new because in the past Google hasn’t been really helpful when it comes to things like this unless they were trying to get you to spend more on Google Adwords. That’s not to say that paid search on Google Adwords won’t be part of the campaign and that paid promotion on YouTube is not in the works.

Buying That place where Coke Taste SO Good .com

They will probably have paid search at some point because the domain is not available. I obviously tried to buy on GoDaddy because why the hell not.  However it’s already taken but there is no website or microsite built yet.


Plus when you try and find who owns the domain using WhoIs you get blocked because it is privately registered. What you do see is that the domain name was bought on Google Domains which I never even knew existed.


3.Partnering with YouTube:

What I do see happening is that Google and McDonalds are leveraging YouTube for this partnership in a unique way (Google owns YouTube). YouTube is currently the main landing page that is optimized and starting to rank well for this search term.


The YouTube Landing Page


This page is optimized to rank on Google and on YouTube for “That place where Coke Taste SO Good” because the term is in the meta title and in the first line of the copy this page.


  • Don’t Need a Ton of Resources: Using YouTube is a quick way to rank and get a page up if you don’t have the  development resources on your own.
  • Rank Faster Organically: You will be able to rank rather quickly for a made up term like this because it has no search demand, it has no competition and YouTube has a ton of domain authority.
  • YouTube Brand Lift Studies: If they are partnering right then YouTube will be doing a brand uplift study to show McDonalds the effect on this campaign on YouTube.
  • Google Survey Brand Lift Study: McDonald should also be leveraging Google Survey to do a brand uplift study around this campaign.


  • Not Your Data: I’m not a fan of using YouTube or a website other than your own as a landing page because you are not getting the first party data. YouTube technically owns this data and will give you what they want to. So you are spending money to drive traffic to a page you technically not yours. If YouTube goes the way of MySpace or Vine and dies then so does your data. Trust me MySpace thought they were invincible but now they are irrelevant.
  • Not Sustainable: Since the campaign is so blatantly trying to get you to search for a term that no one is searching for you will have leaches like this site and anyone optimizing to rank for this term. We know that we can absorb some traffic from this and still be relevant to the term. The way TripAdvisor did this had a lasting effect on how people search because they deeply influence how you search. Once this campaign is over people won’t search for “That place where Coke Taste SO Good” but people still search for “TripAdvisor NY” and no competitors or leaches can try out rank them for the term.

4. Use of Social Media: Mindy Kaling used Twitter to entice her followers to watch the videos as well. I love her use of social media to help spread the campaign and drive traffic to the videos.



5. Publishers: There are a ton of other sites that are targeting this term and most are cosigning that Coke’s taste best at McDonalds. I don’t know if this was part of the plan and media buy but if it was then it was smart. It’s way better to have multiple sites cosigning your store being the best place to have a Coke. It’s also great to get their site visitors to comment and profess their love for your brand as well.



As an Ad Man who does search for a living it is quiet exciting to see big brands finally start using search in unique ways. Kudo’s to McDonald’s for doing this and I must give a big shout out to Burger King for what they did last week. Burger King shot a commercial where they got your Google Home to finish the commercial for them asking Google “What is the Whopper Burger?” This is pretty funny, clever on Burger Kings part, but mostly very intrusive. This just shows the big difference between Google Home and Amazon Echo’s Alexa. With Alexa you have to enable Alexa Skills before you can activate them with your voice. This allows users to opt in and prevents brands like Burger King from invading your personal space like they were United Airlines.

Burger King Commercial and Google Home Device

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