What Caught Our Eye? ‘McDonald’s Presents the As Featured In Meal’

October 27, 2023

By Duane Turner & Yas Khavarian

We don’t mean to interrupt your regularly scheduled programming, but if you’ve come looking for a PR-focused piece we don’t have one of those to share. But don’t go anywhere!

There truly appears to be an endless supply of creative in the world and the Kaiser & Partners’ Visual Communications team wants to keep you up to date on the latest and let you know, What Caught Our Eye! Will we share the same opinion on a piece of creative? Maybe not, but that’s where we revel in the opportunity to discuss.

Duane Turner: This month, we couldn’t take our eyes off ‘McDonald’s Presents The As Featured In Meal campaign’.

Whether it’s asking Mom and Dad as a child for a Happy Meal to get the latest popular toy to counting down the days for the McRib to become a special part of the menu again, a lot of us can say we have a pretty distinct memory with fast food giant McDonald’s. But for some, it’s not the experience of biting into a Big Mac that brings the golden arches top of mind; it turns out McDonald’s cameos that have infiltrated pop culture have left an indelible impression as well.

Subtle or not, organizations will pay a pretty penny to see their brand represented through television shows, woven into movies or even mentioned in hit songs. Both the popularity and longevity of McDonald’s has led to it being featured in multiple mediums, further boosting the brand’s acclaim.

‘McDonald’s Presents The As Featured In Meal’ plays off nostalgia and takes fans on a trip down memory lane featuring beloved menu items that have made iconic appearances in the world of entertainment for decades. The idea behind this campaign has spawned a creative ad, led to exclusive experiences for fans around the world, produced creative merchandise and tied itself to, you guessed it, another upcoming piece of highly anticipated entertainment.

As a storyteller, it’s seeing the machinations of the ‘As Featured In Meal’ ad that truly inspires me. Nostalgia is an easy instrument for garnering emotion, but can also be seen as lazy if there’s no creativity behind it.

Watching this one-minute video repeatedly to see how the storyboard for this ad came together has been fascinating because the idea wasn’t to just stick a bunch of popular McDonald’s features on a timeline and have fans excitedly point out how they remember them. No. Every clip is strategically placed so that viewers can be brought along for the McDonald’s experience through the faces and voices of memorable characters through the years until we arrive at McDonald’s next ‘as featured in’ moment with Marvel Studios’ Loki Season 2. And for fans of that series, you know that timelines play a significant role in the show, so the association couldn’t be more clever. But enough about what I think!

Yas – what stood out the most for you regarding this brilliant campaign? Yas Khavarian – Good point about the timeline in Loki – I totally missed that! What initially drew me to this campaign was a post I saw on McDonald’s Instagram. It was this old, bulky TV showing short video clips disrupted by static. Looking at the list of the featured films and series, you notice they are all from the late 80s to the mid-2000s. This walk down memory lane is pretty much for those who lived through the 90s. So, the choice of a bulky TV is very fitting!

Since this whole campaign revolves around moments in TV and film, McDonald’s stayed true to the medium’s oldest and most effective promotional tool: a movie poster. From the size, to its layout and elements, the design is following the anatomy of a movie poster to a T. Let’s break it down:

  1. Artwork: Photographs, drawings, and graphic embellishment­– a key visual element of any movie poster
  2. Studio Logo: The name of the studio that produced the film, or in this case, the campaign.
  3. Movie Title: In this case, the title of McDonald’s campaign.
  4. The Billing Block: A cluster of movie credits at the bottom of the poster. Set in a highly condensed typeface, it typically consists of the companies, actors, directors, producers, and other crew members. In this case, it is a list of the featured films and series in the campaign.
  5. Production Company Logo: This section highlights the producers of a movie.

Adopting the classic movie poster format is a smart choice. McDonald’s not only pays homage to the entertainment industry but also provides a visual cue that resonates with customers familiar with the medium. The familiarity of a movie poster grounds this campaign in the memory of its target audience, creating a sense of nostalgia that goes hand-in-hand with the featured films and series.

As we conclude our discussion on “McDonald’s Presents The as Featured In Meal campaign,” it’s clear that this creative venture seamlessly integrates nostalgia and design. Through its use of memorable pop culture moments and a homage to classic movie posters, this campaign emphasizes the significance of deliberate design in marketing. It serves as a reminder that thoughtful creativity has the ability to evoke profound emotions and build lasting connections.

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