McDONALD’S: BIG MAC BACON

Tampering with a well-loved, time honoured classic recipe like the Big Mac is bound to lead to debate. Which is why we pre-empted the arguments that would take place across the nation by building the bacon debate – is a Big Mac with bacon still a Big Mac – into the heart of our campaign.

Our brief was to drive conversation, maintain momentum and entice people into restaurants to help drive sales during the eight-week Big Mac Bacon promotion period.

We did this through a combination of earned, owned and paid activity across all channels with content and public sentiment around the debate at its heart.

Our overall approach was editorial first (product news), quickly followed by story-led partnerships with influencers and publishing platforms.

So we kicked off with a hard-working press office, teasing news of the burger’s recipe change with exclusive content drip-fed to key titles. This saw 90+ pieces of coverage land before launch day, building a sense of anticipation amongst burger fans.

We laid the foundations of the bacon argument by executing a series of strategic product drops to national, consumer and broadcast media, asking them to pick a side and drive the debate across both social and editorial coverage.

Next came our hero content which featured famous faces for instant cut-through to take the debate to the masses.  Everyone knows there’s no argument quite like a family row so we enlisted the help of a famous family – Harry and Jamie Redknapp!

We filmed the father and son as they took opposing sides of the debate whilst on their way to a McDonald’s drive-thru. As an extra news hook, the content was dropped ahead of the football transfer deadline day owing to Harry’s history of leaning out of car windows to talk transfers which made it the perfect pastiche for a drive-thru moment.

It was published without paid support on the Redknapp’s own channels, amplified on McDonald’s channels and given exclusively to the Mirror to boost its reach. We then used the positive Twitter commentary on the content and shared it as part of our wider media outreach leading to national coverage plus pieces on football fan sites.

Within 24 hours, the video had hit 2 million views organically and would become McDonald’s UK’s most successful piece of content of all time.

With the Bacon debate now firmly in the mainstream, it was then over to our selected influencers to create content that would appeal to mass and niche audiences. A calendar of social activity ensured you couldn’t move on Twitter, Insta, Snapchat or Facebook without seeing a familiar face joining the Big Mac Bacon debate.

With the campaign delivering over 250 editorial articles and content viewed by 15 million people to date, it’s no surprise that research showed that 63% of Brits had seen news stories about the Big Mac Bacon during the campaign. And millions were inspired to try the Big Mac Bacon for themselves, with Big Mac sales targets smashed.

The campaign has received the numerous accolades including being crowned the winner of four awards:

  • Winner – The Drum PR Awards 2019 – Best FMCG Campaign
  • Winner – PRCA National Awards 2019 – Digital and New Media
  • Winner – SABRE Awards EMEA 2020 – UK & Ireland 
  • Winner – UK Social Media Awards 2019 – Best Social Influencer Campaign
  • Finalist – UK Social Media Awards 2019 – Best Use of Facebook/Instagram
  • Finalist – UK Social Media Awards 2019 – Best Integrated Campaign
  • Finalist – The Drum PR Awards 2019 – Most Effective Use of Content
  • Finalist – SABRE Awards EMEA 2020 – Food Service
  • Finalist – PRmoment Awards 2020– Best Use of Content
  • Runner Up (Silver Award) – PRmoment Awards 2020 – FMCG Marketing Communications Campaign of the Year