Tuesday, March 23, 1999

McDonald’s to
give Oahu

The restaurant chain will
offer Hawaii vacations as
part of a game promotion

By Russ Lynch


Oahu as a visitor destination will get a nationwide publicity boost starting Thursday when the Oahu Visitors Bureau aligns with McDonald's restaurants in a monthlong campaign.

The national television commercials that McDonald's Corp. will run in connection with the reintroduction of its Monopoly board game will mention Hawaii for a few seconds because the OVB and its tourist industry members will be giving away 50 Hawaii vacations -- each for a family of four -- as prizes.

A logo featuring Oahu with a panoramic shot of Diamond Head and Waikiki will be flashed on TV screens across the country as part of the March 25 to April 22 campaign. But there's more, according to Les Enderton, OVB executive director.

He said Oahu will be featured on game boards and game pieces, in-store menu boards, window posters and other materials in McDonald's restaurants.

"This promotion will bring nationwide exposure to Oahu as an ultimate vacation destination," Enderton said in a statement prepared for the program's launch, which will be publicly announced today at the Ala Moana Center McDonald's.

"By tapping into McDonald's family-oriented customer base, we are building on our strategy of marketing Oahu as a family-friendly island," Enderton said.

John Graul, managing director of McDonald's Restaurants of Hawaii, said the company feels it is important to support one of Oahu's biggest industries, tourism. He said the monopoly game is one of the biggest national promotions that McDonald's runs.

OVB officials said it is hard to put a cost figure on promotion because it involves a lot of contributions of hotel rooms, air travel, ground transportation, passes to Oahu attractions and other goods and services provided by member companies.

Tourist industry officials say that generally the rewards of promotions like the McDonald's one far outweigh the cost of participating.

The vacation prizes include round-trip air travel from the mainland, six nights and seven days hotel accommodations, lei greetings, ground transportation and gift activities, OVB said.

Hotel rooms are being provided by the Hyatt, Outrigger, Aston, Starwood (Sheraton) and Hilton hotels on the island. Other members are providing other prizes.

The OVB, as a branch of the Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau, is the marketing and promotion arm for Oahu.

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