Bernstein-Rein Promotes McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish by Fishing for Pollock with a Guy From Pollock

By Erik Oster 

Kansas City agency Bernstein-Rein rolled out a campaign for McDonald’s Filet-O-Fish that promotes the chain’s sustainable sourcing for the sandwich.

A 30-second spot introduces viewers to Pollock, South Dakota and Alaska pollock (Gadus chalcogrammus), the type of fish the chain uses for its Filet-O-Fish sandwich. The spot uses the difference in Pollocks to inform viewers McDonald’s sources its wild-caught pollock from “a certified sustainable fishery” in Alaska.

That acts as something of a lead-in to a second, 15-second spot, which shows McDonald’s bring a man named Davis from land-locked Pollock, South Dakota on a fishing trip to Alaska to show him how their pollock is caught. Of course, he works up a bit of an appetite in the process.

McDonald’s, of course, typically turns its promotional efforts to the Filet-O-Fish this time of year, timed to coincide with Lent (which begins today). This year there’s an added incentive to promote the sustainable aspect of the seafood sandwich. According to a press release, McDonald’s is “the first restaurant chain in the U.S. to adopt Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) blue ecolabel” standards for its food. The campaign made its broadcast debut on Monday, with support from radio, digital and social media components.

“We want our consumers to know where our food comes from and what is in it, so what could be better than showing them not only the fish for the Filet-O-Fish sandwich but also, the care involved to ensure a great-tasting, quality sandwich when they visit McDonald’s,” McDonald’s vice president of culinary innovation  Dan Coudreaut said in a statement.

“We needed to find a way to tell the story of McDonald’s sustainably caught wild-caught Alaska Pollock,” added Bernstein-Rein creative director Lara Wyckoff. “Lucky for us, Pollock, SD is about as far from an ocean as you can get in the United States which brought an entertaining element to the story.”