The company kicked off the campaign, which McDonald’s claims is a first in terms of the size of activation and amount of real-time content produced, today (24 March) in Sydney with a ball pit shaped like a cup of coffee, with free cups of java given to participants.
Other global events taking place throughout the day include a pyjama party with a giveaway of 24 days of free breakfast in Italy, and a surprise concert from Jessie J atop a double decker bus driving around London, live streamed onto YouTube.
The campaign is part of an effort for McDonald’s to change its approach to marketing by moving away from traditional advertising, according to the company.
Matt Biespiel, senior director of global brand development, told Marketing Week: “As we were looking at the initiative, we were observing what was happening with consumer behavior and seeing eyes and ears shifting across screens. The type of content that makes connections with people tends to be different than traditional methods.”
Biespiel says the company launched a “social listening hub” in an effort to gain insights from consumer data, which drove the ideas for the campaign.
“We’d like to shift our thinking from creating ads to creating ‘gifts of joy’, from traditional advertising to bigger acts,” he added. “We’re moving rapidly into the world of being a content producer.”
The company says it plans to amplify these “gifts of joy” through social and PR, with content from each event being posted on imlovinit24.com in an effort to ensure consumers are not “bound by geographical boundaries”.
“The crux of the campaign is that it’s made of multiple micro pieces of content in multiple geographies strategically connected to paint a picture of the brand in different parts of the world,” said Sosti Ropaitis, global director of digital engagement at McDonald’s.
“It’s also an exercise for us to be connected in real-time and produce a series of micro-content pieces that are natural for the environment the consumers are receiving them in.”
While each of the events is locally and culturally relevant, the company says that music is at the core of each idea.
The initative will end in the US with a free concert from R&B singer Ne-Yo, who will perform a song titled “Every Day with Love” composed of lyrics crowd-sourced from fans.
“Music is a universal language and something we’ve been owning as a brand, but we can start using it in multiple geographies,” Ropaitis said.
The company launched its “I’m Lovin’ It” campaign 13 years ago, which at the time was the “largest global act we’ve ever undertaken”, according to Biespiel.
Now he says imlovinit24, the latest phase of the campaign, will have an even bigger global impact and scale.
“It’s a sign for us internally of focusing on innovation streams rather than the work that drives the business on a day-to-day basis,” he says.
“It’s a learning exercise. For a marketer our size to start spinning on these innovation streams will do nothing but advance the brand further.”