NORD DDB, Helsinki / MCDONALD'S / 2023


1 Bronze Eurobest
2 Shortlisted Eurobest
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Generation Z in an important and hard-to-get audience for McDonald’s both as consumers and potential employees. As job applications were decreasing, it was apparent McDonald’s was no longer seen as a cool place to work by the youth. With pressure to grow in the region, workforce was in high demand to deliver the McDonald’s consumer and brand experience and hold on to the position of market leader. New talent was crucial. McDonald’s Finland has been continuously developing its online presence to engage people, and frequently collaborates with social media influencers. It felt natural to continue building on that platform to engage potential Gen Z employees in a way they would relate to. To make McDonald’s a cool place to work and the McDonald’s uniform cool to wear.


How do you combine boosting employer image, creating something meaningful & cool and making your brand culturally relevant for Gen Z? While also increasing brand affinity and engagement. In this case, we knew it was vital to break into popular culture and chose fashion as our arena. We collaborated with a local up-and-coming fashion designer who the target group – Generation Z – could relate to. Someone McDonald’s could support on his way up. We didn’t want to ride on the fame of an established talent, we knew we wanted more depth than just another fashion collaboration. The new fashion collection was upcycled from used McDonald’s workwear. And making this pop-up fashion push a little more limited (and craved), the fashion collection was only available to McDonald’s employees. This was highlighted with the main message activation: Want the drop? Get the job! People applied in record-breaking numbers.


Gen Z no longer saw McDonald’s as a cool employer. Job applications were down in the age group that is the primary source of fast-food restaurant employees. We knew we had to make McDonald’s relatable in the channels most natural for them to really engage. Therefore, the own channels of McDonald’s and the VAIN fashion label were used for launch with social media influencers taking it from there – and making it viral. The idea was to make Gen Z heard and seen, communicating the idea that McDonald’s is a brand for them. Making the fashion collaboration limited only to McDonald’s Finland employees made McDrip – and a job at McDonald’s Finland – even more desirable. All this set up McDrip to go viral on social media, while also leveraging VAIN’s crew whose TikTok posts became some of the campaign’s most influential seen by millions.


The first phase of the execution was focused on crafting the fashion from used McDonald’s workwear collected around Finland. The second phase was focused on introducing the fashion to the world – and leveraging it to attract Gen Z job applicants to approach McDonald’s Finland. The social media campaign started with the fashion line launch live-streamed on TikTok. This followed the idea that McDrip would make the most of different social media challenges to engage and meet the target group in a way that felt natural to them. And positioned McDonald’s on an equal level with them. While McDonald’s and VAIN channels were used, the idea was that influencers would make McDrip go viral. They were given free reign – all earned coverage. The most shared clips were by influencers in VAIN’s entourage from a night spent at a closed McDonald’s at night.


Results were evaluated by impact on employer image, job applications and brand metrics. Number of applications grew by 63%, breaking records for applications (McDonald’s Finland).

The designs transformed how consumers saw the McDonald’s uniform and through the fashion connection it could represent values the core target group – Gen Z – could subscribe to. The brand proved its worth and relevance to the youth it depends on as new workforce.

Earned media reach was 228 million – equal to 40 times the Finnish population.

Earned media value was 11MEUR – over 700 times the media spend.

Lil Uzi Vert wore McDrip during a Drake gig and Drake posted a pic on Instagram to his 136m followers – breaking into culture kind of attention.

And for their targeted 16-24-year-old demographic:

Employer image by 52%

Brand responsibility image by 69%

“It’s a brand I trust” perception by 65%

“Is a brand for someone like me” by 30%.

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