Nearly two years after consolidating its advertising business with Omnicom, McDonald’s has further expanded the relationship by choosing the holding company’s Content Collective division as its entertainment and content marketing agency of record.
The decision followed a competitive six-month review process involving several other unnamed holding groups. It also marks the first time the fast food giant has consolidated its entertainment and content concerns with a single shop, according to agency president and chief content officer Claudia Cahill.
“[McDonald’s] wants to maintain their place in pop culture,” said Cahill, adding that her agency will work to help the brand “show up in moments that matter to people.”
Content Collective teams based in Los Angeles and Chicago will now sit alongside those of media network OMD and dedicated agency We Are Unlimited, which formed to serve the client’s business in late 2016.
“We’re thrilled to work with Content Collective to support our entertainment and content marketing efforts,” said McDonald’s U.S. CMO Morgan Flatley in a statement. “Their expertise in creating compelling content and delivering innovative media solutions is best-in-class. We look forward to working with them to bring our marketing strategy to life as we create those craveable and delicious moments our customers love.”
Prior to the review, McDonald’s tasked a variety of agencies with handling its sponsored content needs, with Content Collective handling “some minimal activity,” said Cahill. Moving forward, however, the Omnicom team will be more united. This is not the only recent example of McDonald’s moving more of its work to the holding group; last November, the chain named RAPP to lead customer relationship management duties.
“My group works hand in hand with OMD to maximize media investment, so most of the deals we do are tied to spending,” Cahill said. “The days of doing these entertainment programs as one-offs is over; it’s not effective or efficient.”
The Content Collective has been responsible for such recent branded pop culture collaborations as Pepsi’s integration into the Fox smash Empire, Lady Gaga’s 2016 Intel collaboration during the 2016 Grammy Awards and Ancestry.com’s partnership with the award-winning Pixar film Coco.
“McDonald’s gets a tremendous influx of opportunities, so the message to Hollywood is ‘this comes through us now,'” Cahill told Adweek. She could not discuss specific projects but said her agency’s first work for the chain would go live early this summer.
According to the latest numbers from Kantar Media, McDonald’s spent approximately $791 million in measured media in the U.S. in 2016 and $703 million last year.