Your Shot: The Big Mac x Bacon Reigns Supreme for McDonald’s Canada
In the fashion industry exclusivity is everything. People will queue for days, camped out on the street, just to get their mitts on the latest collaboration sneakers. Brands like Supreme get away with selling things such as branded bricks (no, really) purely due to the exclusivity of the brand’s products.
And so when granted the opportunity to promote arguably food’s finest collaboration (the Big Mac and bacon) for the McDonald’s burger’s 50th birthday, Canadian agency Cossette looked to play off that culture and poke a bit of fun at it at the same time.
LBB’s Addison Capper spoke with the agency’s newly-promoted Global CCO Peter Ignazi to find out more about teasing BMxB to the world for McDonald’s.
LBB> What was the initial brief like from the client?
PI> The Big Mac turns 50 this year and McDonald’s is marking the occasion by adding bacon. The challenge from the client was to celebrate the iconic burger in an interesting and relevant way without throwing it a birthday party.
LBB> How did you arrive at the creative concept and strategy behind it?
PI> The Big Mac and bacon are two of the most talked about foods on the planet. They’re bona fide culinary celebrities. So when the two get together it’s the ultimate collaboration. We wanted to position the Big Mac x Bacon to rival the likes of Adidas and Kanye.
LBB> How early on did the play on the fashion industry come into the project?
PI> Once we started thinking about Big Mac and bacon as a collaboration, our heads immediately went to streetwear and sneaker collabs, simply due to the hype that surrounds it. Then as we developed the idea we wanted it to feel like a bigger part of the fashion industry to give us license for different personalities to comment on it.
LBB> It’s all playing off ‘hype beast’ street wear, sneaker culture, but can you tell us the biggest factors in the inspiration behind this approach?
PI> Sneaker culture takes itself really seriously — hour-long lineups just for a chance to buy a pair of rare shoes you’ll never even wear. But the Big Mac is one of the most widely available products on the planet, and as most people have realised, you can still ask to add bacon to it after the ‘limited edition’ promotion ends. We even teased the drop date with cryptic imagery like the next Yeezys or Drake album to really push the absurdity of it all.
Visually the concept plays off a number of brands and styles across streetwear and sneaker culture. But conceptually one of our biggest sources of inspiration was Supreme. The brazenness of selling bricks with your logo stamped on them gave us the inspiration to call the world's most widely-available hamburger a 'limited edition'.
LBB> Did you have any sneaker heads in the office working on the campaign? If so, how did they find diving into the tongue-in-cheek tone?
PI> The strategist who worked on the campaign is a pretty big sneaker head, so he was pretty excited to see the campaign steer straight into hype culture. But we were mainly curious how the sneaker fanatics we always see lined up for Yeezy drops would react to the campaign.
LBB> Where did you look for inspiration for the BMxB branding?
PI> The Big Mac x Bacon was designed to feel contemporary in outlook. The look and feel were a departure from traditional McDonald’s campaigns to support the week-long teaser period and misdirect fans into thinking the collaboration was between two fashion or cultural icons. We created a complete design system that included a custom bacon logo and an edgy modern typeface that we applied to countless media channels.
LBB> What are your favourite campaign elements and why?
PI> All the work during the teaser phase really shines for us. It ended up doing exactly what we wanted. There were posts all over social media speculating what was dropping on January 30th, and what ‘BMxB’ meant. When the mysterious 15-second commercial during the Grammys promised “the combination of two greats”, a few keen viewers thought for sure it was the collaboration between Bruno Mars and Beyoncé.
LBB> What do you hope people will take away from it? What has the response been?
PI> We hope people will take away a Big Mac x Bacon, to eat. But really, we want people to see that the serious tone is all tongue-in-cheek. And for those in the fashion and sneaker communities who we’re playing off, it’s working.
LBB> What were the trickiest components and how did you overcome them?
PI> Some parts of the project were a little trickier than usual. The first was always keeping a balance between being super serious in tone, and using enough punch lines to not fly over too many heads. The other was keeping the commitment to black and white, which meant working really hard to make sure the Big Macs looked as great as they possibly could.
Category: Fast food , Retail and restaurants
Genre: Comedy , Strategy/Insight