Week Three- McDonald’s Top Chef

By OMD Spainimage 4

The challenge

In Spain the Quick Service Restaurant category faces a huge lack of differentiation due to aggressive communication centered on price, creating the battle of the €1 promotions. Yet despite low prices consumers still want more for their money. Consumers are hungry for added value and far from impressed with ordinary promotions. Therefore, we challenged McDonald’s to strengthen the communication of their premium products through innovation and quality, leaving the €1 battle behind.

Top Chef

The idea was to create a brand new burger right in front of the consumer’s eyes, promoting McDonald’s commitment to innovation and quality. Our objective was to tell the whole story from the very beginning with authentic and credible people up till the selection process when a new McDonald’s product would be born.

We created a story told in a natural, non-intrusive way that linked to the Spanish food culture. We found the perfect laboratory to create this innovation: the most watched TV contest for professional Chefs, called “Top Chef”. Top Chef is the most watched cooking show for professional chefs in Spain and, since its first season, has maintained the highest audience numbers during prime time. For McDonald’s it was the perfect place to gain credibility around quality and innovation while being closely connected to a user with the same interest and passion around food.

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Making the vision a reality in under 24 hours

The eight competitive chefs faced a challenge to create the most delicious burger ever, whilst using any ingredients they wanted. At the same time McDonald’s accepted the challenge of turning the winning creation into a commercial product right after the show, and without knowing which recipe would make it to their restaurants, this was a great risk for the brand.

The 20-minute branded TV content was a springboard to launch the new product nation-wide, 24 hours later. What’s more, all viewers who voted for the winning creation, through our specially designed app, were invited to try out the burger the very next day.

With the Jury

The results

The results were outstanding for both McDonald’s and the category as a whole. From an estimated 4% increase in sales, the burger exceeded all expectations with sales reaching 2.5 times higher in just six days, accounting for 10.1% of all McDonald’s products sold.

Five weeks later sales kept rising at 6.5%, a rate 2.5% higher than predicted.

Brand awareness increased 15% compared to the 4 previous weeks and, after the show, McDonald’s reached 74% brand recall with an 88% buying intention.

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