Cannes Lions


DDB, Sydney / MCDONALD'S / 2013

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McDonald’s Australia was looking to use the Australia Day celebrations as an opportunity to increase brand relevance and sales among Australians. As a company synonymous with America, increasing relevance to Australians when the country celebrates what it means to be Aussie was always going to be a challenge.

In Australia there’s no greater sign of acceptance than being given a nickname. Therefore, the best way for an American brand to become Australian was to embrace their Aussie-only nickname – ‘Macca’s’.

Research-led media relations incorporating an announcement of McDonald’s submission of Macca’s to the Macquarie dictionary, was used to set the scene for the campaign. This outreach generated significant reach and played an instrumental role in McDonald’s giving their Australian operations the go-ahead to ‘tamper’ with their brand.

Six weeks later, Australians woke to Macca’s restaurant signage at key locations around the country. Through innovative media relations, the inclusion of Macca’s across all elements of the campaign was amplified across the globe.

Media relations then capitalised on opportunities that evolved from the initial success of the campaign. This included leveraging a local community’s petitioning of McDonald’s to add their community to the list of areas with a Macca’s sign, and Coca-Cola’s offering McDonald’s access to their most iconic Sydney billboard.

By the end of January, McDonald’s was one of the most-talked about brands and biggest news items of the month, with coverage that created more than 11.1 billion PR impressions. McDonald’s also saw a year-on-year growth in sales of 6.7%.


To create a context for McDonald’s to change their name, in November 2012 we started the debate in social media before conducting an outreach which highlighted the popularity of the name. We then announced McDonald’s application to have Macca’s added to the Macquarie Dictionary.

It wasn’t just Australia that embraced the campaign - the world started talking about those cheeky Aussies deeming their nickname important enough to be in the dictionary.

Then on January 8 2013, Australia – and the world – woke to the famous golden arches, now with an Aussie twist – Macca’s appeared on pylons and in signage across flagship stores throughout the country.

Aussies loved the signage so much that the Central Coast community petitioned McDonald’s to have a Macca’s sign installed in their area, adding another phase to the campaign.


By the end of the campaign, one of the world’s most iconic American brands had become one of Australia’s most loved brands, leading to a year on year sales increase of 6.7% for January, equivalent to an additional 300,000 Big Macs for the month.

The campaign also generated almost 300 stories across traditional media channels, mass conversation in social media and 11,156,849.848 PR impressions. Importantly, key messages were included in 100% of coverage, with 99.7% positive in tone.

The famous American brand had cemented their place in Australia's national day and increased sales on a weekend devoted to 'Aussie pride'.

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