McD’s Gets Real for ‘Tweenagers’

McDonald’s is moving away from the “McWorld” fantasy-oriented strategy to a more slice-of-life approach in its advertising from Leo Burnett aimed at youth.
The Chicago agency and the Oak Brook, Ill., restaurant company felt a new ad approach was in order after broadening its target from 8- to 13-year-old “tweens” to 8- to 15-year-old “tween-agers.”
“We needed to be more realistic and honest with the advertising,” said Lisa Bennett, executive vice president and managing creative director at Burnett. “The idea is to eavesdrop into this target’s lifestyle.”
While the earlier ads featured energetic, alternative endings to everyday situations built around the theme, “Hey, it could happen,” the new campaign portrays McDonald’s as a part of the youth’s life, Bennett said.
The work, which broke last week, highlights the fast-food chain’s french fries in two different executions. One features two kids eating at a McDonald’s when one accidentally spills his fries, which get mixed up with his friend’s. A second spot, designed to air in sequence, finds them 10 minutes later, sorting out whose fries are whose. A second execution takes place in a basement, where one tweenager eats a fry that has been dropped on the floor.
Both spots conclude with a foam representation of McDonald’s Golden Arches logo in the spots’ settings. The idea was to find a way to “make McDonald’s a part of their lives,” Bennett said. K