- McDonald's is promoting the limited-time release of Spicy Chicken McNuggets in the U.K. with a spoof streetwear collection called "Schnuggs" — a combination of "spicy" and "Chicken McNuggets" — per an announcement shared with Marketing Dive.
- To reach a Generation Z audience, McDonald's is promoting Spicy Chicken McNuggets on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. The chain also created an augmented reality (AR) Snapchat Lens that turns selfies into a fire-breathing Spicy Chicken McNugget that users can share with friends and followers.
- McDonald's is deploying an out-of-home (OOH) promotion that includes an integration with Snapchat, bringing ad posters to life with AR imagery in the messaging app. The burger chain also created GIFs and digital stickers that mobile customers can use to decorate their text messages. McDonald's worked with Leo Burnett London on the campaign for Spicy Chicken McNuggets, which are available until Sept. 24 in the U.K.
McDonald's U.K. campaign with Leo Burnett London pokes fun at the trend of fast food chains creating limited-run streetwear collections that attempt to capture consumer hype around real-deal brands like Supreme and Bape. The Big Mac purveyor is guilty of having done this before through its own McDelivery Collection, which promoted a then-new tie-up with UberEats, and a Big Mac lifestyle product line.
While the trend of creating fast food-inspired streetwear may have run its course and is now dipping into parody, McDonald's is deploying a number of mobile and social media tactics that could resonate with a younger target audience. In the U.K., the average time spent looking at a mobile device is forecast to rise to more than four hours a day by 2020 from about three hours in 2017, taking time away from every other media channel, per researcher eMarketer.
By creating a Snapchat Lens and integrating with OOH advertising, McDonald's can engage existing and potential new customers who use the image-messaging service. Snapchat is the most popular social networking app among young adults in the U.K., reaching 91% of consumers ages 18 to 24, according to separate eMarketer research.
OOH advertising, which increasingly layers in aspects of mobile and digital marketing like location data, is a powerful channel that urges consumers to visit physical stores and can generate a measurable response through devices like smartphones.
McDonald's subversive campaign comes as other marketers outside the apparel industry have tried to build on the popularity of streetwear. That includes fellow fast food chains KFC and Taco Bell, which have created branded clothing lines aimed at Gen Z and millennials.
Fast food chains must cultivate those younger consumers, who have boosted their spending on restaurants but tend to choose healthier and tech-friendly alternatives. In the U.K., casual dining visits have risen 15% among people ages 16 to 24 in the past year as the segment mostly seeks convenience, per Foodspark data cited by restaurant supplier ASF.