Macca’s Marketing Director, Samantha McLeod On Big Mac Chant: “What Was Once Old Is Now Cool Again”

Macca’s Marketing Director, Samantha McLeod On Big Mac Chant: “What Was Once Old Is Now Cool Again”

If you, like most of the country, can’t seem to get the iconic Big Mac chant out of your head and have been seriously craving a famous burger over the last few weeks, you have experienced first-hand the success of the latest Macca’s Big Mac campaign. 

Bringing back the iconic chant and last week introducing a modern take on the challenge to score yourself a free small fries and Coke with any Big Mac purchase, the campaign has had unprecedented success, being shared far and wide.

After unveiling the full, integrated campaign last week, B&T spoke with Samantha McLeod, McDonald’s marketing director, about how the ad came to life and why this kind of nostalgic advertising is so successful.

“In DDB’s initial strategic response, they observed the cultural trend of “future nostalgia”. Observations ranged from clothing stores are now packed with Y2K fashion, which has been reinvented for a new generation. TV shows like Stranger Things are connecting with young people with heightened re-imaginings of the 80s, propelling Kate Bush into the charts all over again. What was once old is now cool again,” she told B&T.

“In other research, we found that people over 45 years old could not only remember their first Big Mac, but they could also recite the original Big Mac chant from memory – a song that hasn’t been on air since the 80s. So, with Gen Z already leaning into things of the past, wanting to connect with older Big Mac fans and tap into their latent love, we focussed on the origin of the Big Mac, the accompanying chant and how it’s remained unchanged throughout the decades. We also conducted independent testing on the initial launch film to help validate our approach, which saw strong results across branding, enjoyment, and message outtake”.

Snapchat was utilised because of its resonance with the Gen Y and Z demographics and its AR capabilities. “Snap’s unique technology, and custom voice machine has really enabled us to create a seamless end-to-end gamified experience, with customers rewarded directly within the app with a MyMacca’s voucher code. Through working with Snap, we have created an experience within an environment that customers habitually use for play and willingly engage with brands,” McLeod said.

“This campaign is about engaging fans agnostic of platform, so our other social partners are playing a complementary role, based on the strengths of how consumers behave and consume content in that environment. For TikTok, an environment for shareable creativity, we opted to create a branded effect for users to discover the chant, practice, and create shareable content. You currently see creators leading the charge here. All direct to the MyMacca’s app where others can also undertake the challenge”.

The campaign reaches audiences through the Snap ecosystem, with the AR game championed through paid placement. “We are also promoting the challenge mechanic in TikTok, Meta, YouTube and above-the-line channels where consumers are directed to both the MyMacca’s app and Snapchat in our comms”.

As for plans to bring back other nostalgic elements of the Macca’s brand – can we hear it for the cookies, anybody? – There are no current plans, with the chant being handed over to the fans so they can make it their own. “The nostalgia direction helped us connect our older fans with our younger fans and tell the story that the Big Mac chant and the burger itself have stood the test of time from 1967 all the way to today”.

“We made a conscious decision to have the promotional ads feature the 1970s, 80s, and 90s so that the story of how the chant plays out today is left for our fans to decide. As the campaign progresses over the coming weeks, we will be actively watching, encouraging, and celebrating our fans and how they bring the chant to life.”

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