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Mariah Carey, McDonald's team up as Golden Arches leverages celebrities for loyalty

·Senior Reporter
·3 min read

Mariah Carey — who usually goes viral this time of year on her own — is teaming up with McDonald's (MCD) to spread her famous holiday cheer.

On Wednesday, the fast food chain announced the "Mariah Menu," which debuts December 13 and features a different, free menu item that consumers can enjoy each day through Christmas Eve — with a $1 minimum purchase on the McDonald's mobile app. The Golden Arches has been aggressively cultivating customer loyalty with a range of diverse celebrity partnerships.

"The Mariah Menu" (Courtesy: McDonalds)
"The Mariah Menu" (Courtesy: McDonalds)

"Some of my favorite memories with my kids are our family trips to McDonald's, and of course, each of us has our go-to order," Carey said in a press release. The chart-topper, dubbed "the queen of Christmas" based on her smash hit "Merry Christmas," added that her favorite McDonald's item is a classic cheeseburger with extra pickles.

"Bringing together some of our favorite food from McDonald's with my all-time favorite season is a holiday wish come true," the self-described "Elusive Chanteuse" added.

Mariah Carey is just the latest celebrity to partner with the fast food giant. McDonald's Famous Orders campaign also includes partnerships with rapper Travis Scott, Korean pop band BTS, and hip-hop artist Saweetie — and consumers seem to be 'lovin' it.'

InMarket's QSR Customer Loyalty Report
InMarket's QSR Customer Loyalty Report

According to a new report from consumer intelligence company InMarket, McDonald’s has the most loyal restaurant customers in the U.S. — outpacing competitors like Taco Bell (YUM) and Chick-fil-A and continuing to outperform the greater QSR market, despite inflation concerns and COVID-19 headwinds.

"Not only was [McDonald's] the number 1 in customer loyalty, but they grew that loyalty 15% over the year — leading the pack with about 2.9 repeat visits per McDonald's customers," InMarket President Todd Morris told Yahoo Finance during a recent interview.

The brand's Famous Orders campaign, in addition to successful limited-edition menu releases like the McRib, has led to greater customer demand.

Furthermore, McDonald's digital rewards program helped lift sales in the third quarter, with over 22 million sign-ups since the July launch, according to Tower data.

Other brands have adopted similar strategies in order to compete.

Burger King (QSR) recently introduced "Keep It Real" meals, an iteration of McDonald's Famous Orders campaign. Created by celebrities, the meals use their real names instead of their better known stage monikers. Partnerships include Nelly, Brazilian singer Anitta and TikTok sensation Lil Huddy.

"McDonald's has been doing this for [awhile] and it's worked really well, so you're seeing others pile in," BTIG Restaurants Analyst Peter Saleh previously told Yahoo Finance.

"Nobody wants to be left behind. It's tough to find something that resonates and works to drive traffic...I think this will be a trend until they find something else that works," he added.

Alexandra is a Producer & Entertainment Correspondent at Yahoo Finance. Follow her on Twitter @alliecanal8193

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