A successful use of the World Cup
September 98: a few weeks after Frances victory over Brazil, McDonalds and their agency BDDP & TBWA used the fame, popularity and smooth head of Fabien Barthez for a campaign to promote the Mega Mac. For its re launch the product was called the burger of sportsmen, since with its four pieces of meat it was aimed at people with large appetites. Having used Michael Jordan in 1997, Mc Donalds, as partners in the World Cup and the French football team , had wanted to be the first brand to mount a campaign using one of the French team. But they did not want to be considered opportunist. The gamble paid off thanks to a creative and eye catching campaign ('the kiss' on television, 'The prayer' on posters) and Mega Mac exceeded commercial goals.
In September 1998 McDonalds suggested a campaign for the Mega Mac, a non-permanent product in McDonalds range. This burger was larger and more expensive than the others: it would allow McDonalds to increase the value of their transactions.
Since the Mega Mac had already appeared in restaurants in February 97, a re-launch was now needed to give the Mega Mac greater staying power than in the campaign of 97.
To increase turnover and profitability of McDonalds restaurants, reaching a strategic threshold of 200 Mega Macs sold per 1000 transactions (one transaction = one till receipt.)
Strategies and working of the campaign
To position the Mega Mac in the market as the Burger of sportsmen intended for large appetites.
In July 98 France awaited a happy event: The World Cup. McDonalds immediately saw public interest and signed a partnership with the French team. As they went along the French teams good results kept the association between the Mega Mac and football in peoples minds.
In September the agency recommended capitalizing on the fame of the French team who had won the World Cup two months previously on three conditions:
- To be the first brand to feature a member of the French team in a campaign
- To choose the player
- To avoid accusations of opportunism by being creative.
Thanks to the ritual of the kiss on his shaven head Fabien Barthez became the mascot of the French team. His personality made him one of the most popular players in the team. It seemed obvious to the agency to associate this man with the product.
Fabien Barthez became the spokesman for the Mega Mac which carried the fortunes of McDonalds.
It remained only to put in motion a creative strategy worthy of this great name.
The concept was to play on the head of Barthez and the famous kiss.
The media chosen for the period 3-20 September were:
- one TV spot of 30' reducing to 15'
- a 4x3 poster campaign
- point of sale advertising at McDonalds
Results of the campaign
Greater turnover, more profit and more sales than predicted.
255 Mega Mac sold per 1000 transaction, 49% more than in February 97
Increased turnover and profit for McDonalds restaurants of +4.1% and +344% respectively compared to the first launch in 97.
A creative campaign which people noticed and talked about.
An attribution score of 79% was the best Ipsos score of 1998 in all sectors.
The success of the campaign in publicizing Mega Mac led to a new campaign centered on Barthez being developed in March 99 (a film called 'Shaving')
The Barthez magic worked
The Mega Mac campaign is proof that endorsement of a product by a World Cup star, if it is creative and innovative (the first brand to use one) is a safe bet for effectiveness.