McDonald’s preps ‘biggest’ Games campaign

McDonald’s is spending £10m on its biggest Olympic activation campaign to date with activity celebrating the “personal stories” of the people working at the Games as it eyes a long-term legacy of being known as the “people’s restaurant”.


The chain, the official restaurant and presenting partner of the Games and an International Olympic Committee partner since 1968, has unveiled details of the marketing campaign to run before, during and after the London 2012 Games conclude in September. 

The television, outdoor, social media and experiential activity (see box), dubbed “We All Make The Games” will focus on the people who “make the games happen” such as the McDonald’s sponsored customer service representatives.

Alistair Macrow, vice president of marketing for McDonald’s UK, says the activity steers clear of the “skill, determination and hard work” of the athletes competing in the Games and instead focus on those playing their part in the Games “away from the glare of the stadium lights” such as the McDonald’s sponsored “Games Makers”. 

Digital activity – its most ambitious yet in terms of reach and  breadth, according to Macrow –  will gather together tweets, videos and posts to create user generated content about the Games, which many observers have described as the first digital Olympics.

He adds it is hoped  that this campaign and McDonald’s sponsorship, will help “reinforce what the brand is about in the UK”.

“[As official restaurant] we want to demonstrate the great customer service and great food we offer to hundreds of thousands of people. We want to continue the journey that the brand is been on, celebrate our role in British life – that people are welcome everywhere anytime day or night.

“We see ourselves as the people’s restaurant and what is being seen as the people’s games.”

McDonald’s”We All Make The Games” activty will include the following:

Before the Games

  • Outdoor and TV activity to encourage people to support volunteers involved in the Games such as Games Makers.

During the Games

  • “Guerrilla” film crews will film “the passion and emotion” of people watching the competition at official Fan Parks and city centres around the country.  People will be invited to upload their own videos and photographs onto Facebook and the best content will be incorporated into TV advertising including its closing ceremony ad and outdoor advertising including the Piccadilly Lights in London.

 Closing ceremony and after

  •  Clips, images and comments gathered throughout London 2012 will be used to celebrate the people who all ‘made’ the Games after they conclude.

Macrow also took a swipe at critics that question McDonald’s sponsorship of the Games for encouraging children to eat foods high in fat and sugar, adding that no other restaurant brand could handle the requirements of being the tournament’s official restaurant. “The  IOC require a partner that can setup an operation on such a huge scale and guarantee high quality food with a high standard of food safety that is appealing and affordable to a wide population.”

The ten-week campaign will run from July. Above the line was led by Leo Burnett London, while Razorfish London worked on the digital activity. Media planning and buying was handled by OMD.



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