McDonald’s is experimenting with an unconventional marketing campaign that doesn’t mention the brand once- instead urging viewers to search for a phrase instead.
The TV commercial for McDonald’s, featuring the actress Mindy Kaling, does not appear on the company’s YouTube channel, Facebook page or Twitter account.
In fact, they don’t mention McDonald’s at all — though they do mention Coca-Cola and Google.
The ads are part of the chain’s first unbranded marketing campaign, in which it is coyly asking people to search Google for “that place where Coke tastes so good.”
The query, meant to capitalise on millions of search engine results that favour the fast-food chain, is central to the ads where association with the brand is limited to placing Ms. Kaling in a bright yellow dress against a red backdrop.
I partnered with a brand w/o being able to say the name of the brand. Is that normal? If so, can I be paid in fries? https://t.co/MNgGp23nP6
— Mindy Kaling (@mindykaling) April 14, 2017
The ads, which started running last week, are meant to play on how teens and twentysomethings use their phones while watching TV, while also acknowledging “how they’re discovering information” they trust, said Deborah Wahl, chief marketing officer of McDonald’s for the United States. “They are very influenced by word of mouth and what their peers say,” she said.
Kaling posted to Twitter on Friday that she recently “partnered with a brand without being able to say the name of the brand,” and jokingly asked to be paid in fries.
According to the McDonald’s website, here’s why it thinks its Coke tastes best: “The water and Coca-Cola syrup are pre-chilled before entering our fountain dispensers with the ratio of syrup set to allow for ice to melt. We also keep our fountain beverage system cold so your drink can always be at the peak of refreshing. In order to ensure our drinks are always meeting a gold standard, we have proper filtration methods in place.”
The work comes from creative agency We Are Unlimited.
The ad comes after fast food rival Burger King ran a search integrated campaign last week with the Google Home, designed to trigger peoples’ smart devices.