The days of talking at your audience are long over. Any marketing, advertising or public relations executive will quickly tell you that the word of the day is engagement. No brand looking to standout in the clutter and build long-term brand equity is usually satisfied with carrying on a one-sided monologue with an audience.
Rather, it wants to engage, generate buzz and get the conversation going with the public. One brand that continues to excel in that is McDonald’s.
Over the past few years, McDonald’s Kuwait has been on a mission to push the boundaries of traditional marketing, eschewing run-of-the-mill tactics for the sake of buzzy stunts and standout campaigns. This year proved to be an especially rewarding one for the brand, creatively speaking, as it saw its creative partnership with Weber Shandwick Kuwait – its long-time communications agency – produce not one, but two, award-winning, viral campaigns.
“World Cup Drive-Thru Experience” and “Ramadan Memories Made Together”, two innovative campaigns produced earlier this year, became two of the brand’s most talked about and popular efforts to date. Dramatically different, yet equally impressive, they became instant conversation fodder and social media sensations.
“Neither campaign was traditional in any sense of the word. They were different. They were bold. They were risky. But we wanted to continue pushing the envelope, and we had complete faith that our risks will be well rewarded,’” said Sherif Coutry, Senior Marketing Director at McDonald’s Kuwait.
In fact, McDonald’s was more than well rewarded, as it recently won big at the 2018 Middle East Public Relations Association (MEPRA) Awards, nabbing two Gold and three Bronze honors at the tenth edition of the annual communications awards, during a ceremony which was held in Dubai.
The “World Cup Drive-Thru Experience” campaign kicked off the awards ceremony with the very first win of the evening, grabbing the Bronze Award for “Best Sports & Entertainment Campaign”, before winning Gold for “Best Use of Sponsorship”.
On the other hand, the “Ramadan Memories Made Together” campaign won Bronze for “Best Corporate Reputation Campaign”. In the “Best in Kuwait” category, “World Cup DriveThru Experience” walked away with the Gold, whilst “Ramadan Memories Made Together” was honored with a Bronze.
Speaking about the award wins, Coutry said: “These five awards are a true testament to our continued efforts to be creative and original in every way. Along with our agency partners, we work to deliver our messages in an innovative, standout way that truly resonates with the audience.”
He added: “We produced two excellent campaigns that we are extremely proud of, and nothing makes us happier than seeing them get recognized on a regional level.”
“World Cup Drive-Thru Experience” was a creative activation that delivered a one-of-a-kind experience for football fans in celebration of the FIFA World Cup 2018 – with the help of legendary sports commentator Raouf Khlaif.
Manning the drive-thru window for a night, Khalif proceeded to take customers’ orders, transforming an ordinary Drive-Thru experience into something else entirely – bringing a little bit of that football action and game atmosphere right into McDonald’s. The campaign became a viral sensation, with an estimated reach of 20 million people.
Going down a more emotional route, “Ramadan Memories Made Together” skipped traditional tactics to create a standout activation: bringing together families for a special one-night Ramadan celebration. McDonald’s decided to help some students studying abroad make some special Ramadan memories, flying them into Kuwait to spend some quality time with their completely oblivious families.
“It took hectic tightly-scheduled days of preparation, three production crews, intricate logistical planning and a passion to see it through, but the end result was so worth it, as we were able to draw genuine smiles on these people’s faces,” said Faisal Khazal, Associate Director at Weber Shandwick Kuwait.
Khazal further added:
“For us as a creative agency, McDonald’s is truly the dream client. Their desire to constantly go further, do more and be even more creative is the ultimate motivator for us. It is a challenge to always do even better, but it is a challenge we thrive on. We are simply humbled by the trust that McDonald’s has placed in us. It’s been a decade-long partnership and creative collaboration that has allowed us to produce one stunning campaign after another, as we continue to look beyond the norm and challenge conventions to produce ideas that really get people talking and make McDonald’s the subject of conversations.”
“World Cup Drive-Thru Experience” and “Ramadan Memories Made Together” are not the first awardwinning campaigns for McDonald’s Kuwait. This marks the second consecutive year that McDonald’s and Weber Shandwick have been honored for their creative campaigns at MEPRA. In the 2017 ceremony, the creative social experiment campaign, “Beef Nation”, walked away with the top honor in the “Crisis Communications” category, in addition to being named “Best in Kuwait”.
“These campaigns have been two of our biggest and best efforts to date. Our self-set challenge now is to beat our own personal best and come back next year with something absolutely incredible. And we’re determined to do just that,” concluded Coutry.
For more information about McDonald’s Kuwait, please visit the website www.mcdonalds.com/kw. For the latest updates and news, follow McDonald’s Kuwait on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @mcdonaldskuwait.
Featured image courtesy of McDonald’s Kuwait.