Cannes Lions

The People's Launch

GOLIN , Chicago / MCDONALD'S / 2016

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McDonald’s breakfast fans had been lobbying for extended hours for years. In fact, since 2007, more than 300,000 people had mentioned McDonald’s All Day Breakfast on Twitter and a third actually claimed that it was their idea.

The insight that people wanted nothing more than to be recognized as an individual and given individual credit for their ideas became very clear. In order to not be tone-deaf and “of the people”, this announcement had to be personal and not done through typical methods like working with exclusive top-tier media.

Armed with this knowledge, McDonald’s created “The People’s Launch.” This announcement strategy flipped the traditional PR announcement on its head by bringing the news straight to the people. It made the announcement personal, specific and tailored.


The People’s launch kicked off on September 1st when McDonald’s broke the news to the first person to ever ask for All Day Breakfast on Twitter and followed up with more than 4,000 individual 1:1 replies from @McDonalds to historical customer tweets that had asked for All Day Breakfast since 2007. And that was just on day 1.

Over the course of the following month, McDonald’s replied to every single one of the 12,500 answerable All Day Breakfast requests on Twitter sharing the news that their breakfast dreams had been met and driving them to a consumer oriented press kit populated with custom GIFs for sharing.

Some of these custom responses were even to influencers who had tweeted over the years, like Olympian Lolo Jones and actor Sinbad.


Almost instantaneously, All Day Breakfast went from a simple product launch to a cultural phenomenon.

Stoking conversation and celebrating the good news had All Day Breakfast blowing up the Internet. At its peak, All Day Breakfast was averaging 340 tweets per minute and trended organically on Twitter for 5 hours.

Before the marketing window had even started, McDonald’s generated 6.6 BILLION impressions through the announcement. But that wasn't all - 698 earned placements (including many from non-traditional outlets for the brand like GQ and Pop Sugar), 1,100 influencer brand engagements and 10% of the earned media mentioned The People’s Launch tactic, itself.

As a result of the rollout, McDonald’s stock price, which had been the same since 2011, now soared 25% in one quarter and same-store sales proved to have their strongest quarter in nearly 4 years.

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