McDonald's Promo, Case study McDONALD'S GETS GRILLED by UM

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Industry Fast food
Media Promo & PR, Case study
Market Australia
Agency UM
Released May 2013

Credits & Description

Advertiser: McDONALD’S
Agency: UM
Category: Retail and E-Commerce, including Restaurants
Advertising campaign: McDONALD'S GETS GRILLED
Managing Director: Dan Talbot (WTFN)
: Debbie Stevens (UM Australia)
: Steve Oemcke (WTFN)
: Wes Cook (WTFN)
: Daniel Isaac (UM Australia)
General Manager: Natalie Harvey (UM Australia)

McDonald’s challenged us to create a campaign that would help improve perceptions of their food quality in Australia.As much as they liked the brand, Australian mums and dads still felt as though they would be labeled bad parents if they took their kids there. We needed a big idea that went beyond advertising to dispel the myths about McDonald’s and show people the origins of their food.But a traditional advertising solution wasn’t going to cut it. Trust in advertising had hit an all time low with a massive 53% of people saying they did not trust TV ads. (Source: Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising 2011) Our strategy was to show the real 'paddock to plate' McDonald’s story in a way that had never been seen before.We called this McDonald’s Gets Grilled.The world’s first independently produced McDonald’s documentary.

The 60 minute independently produced show gave six members of the public an all-access pass to McDonald’s; every part of the process from paddock to the plate was investigated and allowed them to any questions along the way.With no media or sponsorship spend but a documentary idea they knew would captivate the nation, the Seven network agreed to run the program in the prime 9.30pm time-slot marking a first in Australian free-to-air television.We knew the program would deliver an honest opinion about the brand and to protect the credibility of the content, we convinced McDonald’s to relinquish full editorial control to a local independent production company, WTFN. Lastly, knowing the show would create even more questions about the brand and the food we helped facilitate and answer them with McDonald’s CEO, Catriona Noble, being available during and after the show on facebook and Q&A page on the website.

Over 1,000 pieces of PR across both national and international news outlets, which equated to over 15 million PR impressions.This included a dedicated 10-minute news piece within the ABC Media Watch programme.The show itself won its timeslot with over 1 million Australians tuning in across the 60 minutes. This puts the shows media value at a staggering $4.2 million.92% of all social comments were positive or balanced.The PR and social value alone reached a massive $1.2 million.Most significantly McDonald’s quality food and freshness scores are at a 2- year high.