Remember when the highlight of every teen’s weekend was a Big Mac and fries?That’s the problem that McDonald’s aims to fix this year: Those who do remember the years when the Big Mac was a pop-culture colossus — “two all-beef patties special sauce lettuce cheese pickles onions on a sesame seed bun!” — are older than McD’s core demographic.
And today’s teens don’t know the Big Mac as anything special beyond its permanent spot on the chain’s core menu.
So the company has commissioned a special campaign of 10 ads from ad agency Translation that will reintroduce the Big Mac to America, CEO Steve Stoute tells us.
McDonald’s lead agencies are DDB Chicago and Leo Burnett, so Translation’s appearance with an assignment on McD’s core menu will be regarded as a threat by them. Stoute’s history with McD’s goes back to the birth of the “I’m Lovin’ It” tag, when McDonald’s asked Stoute to make sure the new jingle would have pop credibility.
Translation went to McDonald’s in December, after researching the Big mac during the summer, with a speculative pitch “to refresh the Big Mac.”
“As a kid, it was the treat of all treats,” Stoute says, but:We’d come to the conclusion that there is a generation that really hadn’t gotten the love of the Big Mac.
We weren’t getting the next generation to feel the same way as I do about the Big Mac. It wasn’t a sales data driven initiative. Big Mac, whether the sales are great or not great, the truth is, outside the McDonald’s logo, I would say the Big Mac, the fries, the nuggets, they are their brand ambassadors. Those are the new Ronald McDonald. They represent the brand. So they have to all feel right, regardless of sales. McDonald’s should be in contemporary culture and those product views should be their articulation of such. And they should be right there, and they weren’t. The sales of Big Mac could be at an all time high, but it’s not a part of the conversation like it should be. I think it was something they inherently knew but it wasn’t a focal point.
There is a big burger culture right now, and the Big Mac is not now in the conversation. There are burger joints everywhere who make their own versions, special sauce, who decorate the burger much differently in the last 10 years than any years prior. And Big Mac has not been a part of that dialogue.
There won’t be any famous people in the spots, Stoute says, just different settings in which people discover the burger.
Here’s the classic 1970’s campaign that put the sandwich on the map:
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