McDonald’s Unveils Burger-Inspired Art During Its First Facebook Live Video

Enlists an improv actor to channel Bob Ross

McDonald's hosted its first Facebook Live video today—an art show, The Starving Artist, reminiscent of Bob Ross' The Joy of Painting.

During the hour-long program the fast food giant revealed three oil paintings; "The Beefy Gastronaut" which featured the chain's Quarter Pounder with cheese, the "Burger Brawn," which featured the Big Mac and the "Beefy Peaks."

The point? To celebrate National Hamburger Day. The program was hosted by an improv actor playing a sweater-and-fanny-pack-wearing artist named Bevin, who explained to the roughly 1,000 viewers that he was going to take the burgers from "mouth-worthy to museum-worthy." (The paintings were created by a professional artist Adam Holzrichter.)

The video had no paid support behind it and reached 884,300 people in 40 minutes, according to the brand, which also noted that there were 43,200 engagements or likes, comments and shares. 

The effort was a "fun, interesting and innovative" way for the chain to celebrate National Hamburger Day and the first time that McDonald's has done live video, Paul Matson, McDonald's director U.S. social engagement, told Adweek. 

"The Big Mac and the Quarter Pounder with cheese, these are two very iconic items for McDonald's," said Matson. With the Facebook Live video, McDonald's wanted to "tell the story of our beef and interact with our costumers and tie that back to something that's near and dear to our hearts, which is the Ronald McDonald charities." 

The three paintings (see below) revealed during the chain's Facebook Live video, will be auctioned off on eBay. The proceeds from those auctions will go to the Ronald McDonald House Charities. 

The stunt comes from the brand's internal teams as well as its creative agency Leo Burnett. 

"We're looking at ways that we can make a big, bold move," said Matson. "Doing something live is a little bit of a calculated risk. It's inherently interesting because you don't know what's going to happen so we're trying to take advantage of that and see how that might work for a business that's 60 years old, such as ourselves. So it's reinventing ourselves in the way we show our customers our story and Facebook Live happens to be a great way in for us to do that."