Grandma Gets a Life Thanks to McDonald’s, Whose Chicken Tenders Are as Good as Hers

No more cooking, so she can explore other hobbies

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Grandma isn’t bitter that McDonald’s new Buttermilk Crispy Tenders are as good as the ones she makes. In fact, she’s thrilled. She won’t have to cook anymore, and can finally enjoy life.

That’s the deadpan theme of a new campaign from We Are Unlimited, featuring seven spots and supporting materials in which grandmas embrace, or sarcastically bemoan, the advent of the new menu item.

Check out two 30-second spots here:

Toygar Barzakaya, who joined Omnicom’s dedicated McDonald’s agency as chief creative officer in May, tells Adweek that a key challenge was getting people to considering trying a new chicken product at a chain that’s better known for burgers and fries.

“McDonald’s is not really famous for chicken. How do you get an audience who doesn’t really see you as a chicken expert to at least give it a try?” he said. The Buttermilk Crispy Tenders were a hit during a test run in Charlotte, N.C., he added. “Anytime you have a product that’s awesome, half the job is already done for you.”

Barzakaya admitted the concept of comparing restaurant-made or store-bought food to what grandmas make is hardly new, but said the campaign puts a fresh spin on it.

“We asked ourselves, who would need to give you a recommendation [to try the Buttermilk Crispy Tenders]?” he said. “In the whole territory about experts, we landed on grandmas pretty quickly. That territory is a little treaded—Grandma in the kitchen, doing an Italian pasta sauce or whatever—that imagery is kind of in our heads. So, the important thing for us was to find our own territory, to do it in a way that is unique and we haven’t seen yet.”

Check out some :15 from the campaign here:

“There’s a certain kind of confidence and modernity [in the work],” Barzakaya said. “There’s still the recommendation and the ‘Approved by’ in there, but in a different way.”

Client/Brand/Product: McDonald’s/Buttermilk Crispy Tenders launch
Campaign: Buttermilk Crispy Tenders. Grandma has a life.

Creative Agency: We Are Unlimited
Chief Creative Officer, DDB North America: Ari Weis
Chief Creative Officer, We Are Unlimited: Toygar Bazarkaya
Creative Director/Copywriter: Mark Wegworth
Creative Director/Art Director: Chris Cole
Creative Director/Art Director: Vic Sanchez
Associate Creative Director/Copywriter: Jon Morgan
Art Director: Rachael Bottlinger
Copywriter: Jessi Pelzel
Designer: Kristen Walters
Chief Production Officer: Jon Ellis
Senior Content Producer: Ross Greenblat
Group Business Director: Melanie Behling
Account Director: Sarah Stahurski
Account Supervisor: Taylor Knowles
SVP, Partners & Platforms: Justin Hood

Production Company: O Positive
Director: Brian Billow
Executive Producer: Ralph Laucella
Director of Photography: Larry Fong

Editorial: Cutters
Editor: Grant Gustafson
Producer: Heather Richardson

Audio Post: Another Country
Audio Engineer: Pete Erazmus
Executive Producer: Tim Kohn

Finish/EFX: Another Country
Colorist: Luke Morrison
Flame Artists: Randy McEntee
Senior Producer: Erica Hilbert

V.P, Executive Creative Director: Jorge Murillo
Creative Director: Juan Camilo Valdivieso

Burrell Group
V.P., Group Creative Director: Rebecca Williams
Art Director: Mark Oosthuizen
Copywriter: Dave Linne

IW Group
Group Creative Director: Sisi Zhang
Creative Director: Harry Truong

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@nudd Tim Nudd is a former creative editor of Adweek.