Cannes Lions

Inspired by Big Mac

COSSETTE, Toronto / MCDONALD'S CANADA / 2023

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Overview

Entries

Credits

Overview

Background

The Big Mac is a big deal. For over half a century it’s evolved from an innovative product, to a cultural icon. Despite that, research showed that Gen Z wasn’t talking about the Big Mac as the icon it is. We needed to change that perception.

If you’re an icon, you shouldn’t have to say it. So rather than telling Gen Z how iconic the Big Mac is, we showed them, partnering with a variety of Gen Z makers to show how the Big Mac could inspire their culture in a way that no other burger could. But to really drive home the message, we did it without ever showing the burger at all.

Idea

It’s one thing to say you’re an icon. It’s another to prove it. So to change the perception of the Big Mac, we did just that, developing a campaign that illustrated the Big Mac’s iconic status without ever needing to show the burger itself. Instead, we leveraged its iconic colour palette and layer system to show younger generations how the Big Mac could inspire their culture in a way that no other burger could.

We partnered with Gen-Z makers from across Canada, each specializing in a different form of creative expression. From cowboy boots, to floral design, to 3D character art and Big Mac jewelry, each maker had free reign to create a one-of-a-kind piece inspired by Big Mac.

We then took those pieces and incorporated them into a striking, visual system, further leveraging the Big Mac’s iconic look, which we then rolled out as part of a national campaign.

Strategy

While young Canadian adults were certainly aware of the Big Mac, the brand had yet to serve them the Big Mac in the right cultural context to demonstrate its iconic status in the same way it had with older generations.

The brief was to change that perception, reintroducing the Big Mac to younger generations as an icon by using the modern "rules" of Gen-Z media to demonstrate its cultural influence, and in doing so increase brand affinity towards the Big Mac and the McDonald’s brand.

If you’re iconic, you shouldn’t have to say it. So rather than simply telling the world how iconic the Big Mac is, we showed them, partnering with talented makers and craftspeople, and leveraging the end result in a targeted media strategy, ensuring the campaign would appear in places that Gen-Z would see us, like college campuses, transit stations, and high-traffic areas frequented by younger people.

Execution

McDonald’s partnered with Gen-Z makers from across Canada, each specializing in a different form of creative expression relevant to our target audience. These weren’t professional influencers, but grassroots leather workers, floral designers, 3D artists, and jewelers, with minimal followings. Each was given the same brief - to craft something Inspired by the Big Mac.

@terrelodia - Big Mac Grills

@luckybisonleather - Big Mac Cowboy Boots

@hotpotvariety - Big Mac Dress

@syblake - Big Mac Character Art

@j_aime - Big Mac Floral Design

@ronnietremblay - Big Mac Makeup

@manisbymanu__ - Big Mac Nail Art

We photographed and filmed each piece before incorporating them into a striking visual system. We further leveraged the Big Mac’s iconic look, which we then rolled out as part of a national, integrated campaign targeting Gen-Z in digital video, OOH, and social media. The work aired across Canada for four weeks, from February 7 2023-March 7, 2023.

Outcome

The campaign was a resounding success, exceeding benchmarks in key areas like impressions (+157 million), video views (+8.3 million), and video completion rates (+277%) while helping alter the perception of the Big Mac among our target audience.

On Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, the campaign exceeded all benchmarks for Engagement Rates.

FB/IG: 6.49% (benchmark 4.37%)

Pinterest: 0.29% (benchmark 0.14%)

The creative performed exceptionally well on Tik Tok as well.

Impressions exceeded benchmarks by +6.5%

2s VTR exceeding benchmarks by +42.8%

6s VTR exceeding benchmarks by +69.9%

Average Watch Time per Video View exceeding benchmarks by +35.1%

Video Completion Rate exceeding benchmarks by +277.6%

Given that a significant portion of the campaign was static OOH, the performance of the video assets indicates that the creative resonated with Gen-Z in a meaningful way on other platforms as well.

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