McDonald’s Star-Studded World Cup Ad Finds Common Ground in Soccer and Fast Food

The brand's largest global campaign to date unites people across more than 75 markets


With the World Cup around the corner, McDonald’s is launching the same campaign across more than 75 of its markets for the first time ever. 

The brand’s largest global campaign to date plays on the simple truth that there are a couple of things that can unite people from around the world: a love of soccer and of McDonald’s. 

To appeal to such a vast swathe of people from all walks of life, the ad features a diverse group of celebrities: American actor and comedian Jason Sudeikis; Khaby Lame, the most followed TikTok user in the world; K-Pop sensation ITZY; and Twitch streamer and gamer Edwin Castro. 

The stars—along with an array of soccer fans—are shown in various locales experiencing the highs and lows of the sport while sharing a craving for a meal from the fast-food brand. In each scene, the fans ask each other the same question in different languages: “Wanna go to McDonald’s?”

Created by agency Wieden+Kennedy New York, the spot features ten languages and four dialects and was shot in four locations around the world. Academy Award nominee Darius Marder, known for the movie Sound of Metal, and Emmy Award winner Alan Yang, who worked on the TV series Parks & Recreation and Master of None, were the directors. 

The global ad breaks on social media Monday, while additional versions edited for specific markets will bring to life customs and personalities unique to those regions. The campaign will also include social activations in local markets.  

For example, to celebrate Canada’s first World Cup in 36 years, McDonald’s in that country will flip the script on red and yellow cards by turning them into promotional codes to order free food from local restaurants. The brand will also partner with Canadian influencers to drop in on watch parties and surprise fans with McDelivery and merchandise. 

Meanwhile, in the Middle East, McDonald’s will host a social activation called “The Happiness Swap.” Every time a referee throws a red card, fans can take a photo, draw fries on the card and post it with the hashtag #WannaGoToMcD—and then receive a promo code for free McDonald’s fries on its app. 

Also in the region, the brand will partner with famous Arab soccer commentator Raouf Ben Khelif, who will encourage TikTok users to duet his video with their own commentary. 

In the U.K., McDonald’s will partner with players from the England and Wales men’s and women’s teams to encourage fans to sign up for “Fun Football” sessions. It is also supporting food poverty charity FareShare to deliver food to families in need. 

“While we may all root for different teams this World Cup, what we can all agree on is that every celebration is a little bit sweeter with McDonald’s, and every missed goal or yellow card stings just a little less when you’re enjoying a Big Mac,” McDonald’s global chief marketing officer Morgan Flatley said in a statement. 

McDonald’s is a sponsor of the 2022 FIFA World Cup, which begins Nov. 20 in Qatar. 

CREDITS:

Brand: McDonald’s

Global chief marketing officer: Morgan Flatley
Vice president, global: Erwin Dito
Sr. director, global campaign alliances: Jennifer Delvecchio
Global director, strategic alliances: Clement Brossard
Global marketing manager: Lukas Steiniger
Director, global alliances: Beth Czerwinski
Manager, global strategic alliances: Dana Sheedy
Director, social media: Guillaume Huin
Marketing mgr, social engnt: Kaitlin labruzzo
Director, brand trust comms: Tess Mattingly
Manager, global comms: Katie Dittmann
Creative agency: Wieden+Kennedy New York
Global chief operating officer: Neal Arthur
Global chief creative officer: Karl Lieberman
Global group creative directors: Brandon Henderson, Marques Gartrell
Copywriter: Macie Soler-sala
Art director: Dan Kenneally
Head of integrated production: Nick Setounski
Executive producers: Kristen Johnson, Andy Daulton
Senior producer: Bianca Cochran
Associate producer: Caroline Park
Global group account director: Brandon Pracht
Account director: Alex Scaros
Account supervisor: Kelly Mallory
Account executives: Fatima del Barco, Sana Perti
Group strategy director: Tass Tsitsopoulos
Strategy director: Huw Devine
Comms planning director: Caleb Smith
Comms strategist: Eric Uzick
Social strategy director: Kaylah Burton
Copywriter: Chris Wernikowski
Art director: Rebecca Friedman
Designer: Martin Routledge
Project manager: Joanna Groom
Director of business affairs: Anna Beth Nagel
Business affairs: Ramona Seuth
PR agency: Weber Shandwick
Production company: Caviar
Directors: Alan Yang, Darius Marder
Talent agency: The Narrative Group

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