Tag: Gunn Report

Week Seven- From Mass McDonald’s to My McDonald’s

The need for change

For years McDonald’s had been communicating to their audience via broad mass media and it had worked perfectly. However, we were beginning to see a stagnating return on media investment and overall we identified the following challenges.

  • Market conditions and technology improvements have changed consumer behaviour and media consumption drastically. Running consecutive TV-spots throughout the year were no longer sufficient in order to attract and communicate with today’s customers. We had to focus on digital media.
  • McDonald’s had entered many new day-parts such as Breakfast and night open, plus they expanded into new product areas such as smoothies and frappés. But to be successful in these areas it required a different approach than the usual mass marketing.

In order to change this situation, we had to understand the consumers’ journey to purchase much better. This meant that we needed to change our entire way of thinking. We had to move away from targeting broad audiences based on age, sex and fast food consumption, and start focusing on behaviour and needs in order to become much more relevant and targeted. We needed to adapt our marketing to every single moment in our customers’ daily media usage and apply a ‘MyMcDonald’s’ approach instead of a ‘MassMcDoanld’s’ approach.

The segment study and enriching media insightsMcDonald’s Custom Audiences_The granular semantic profiles with more than 3.000 unique characteristics_Image 3

 A ‘MyMcDonald’s’ approach includes enhancing and supporting all of McDonald’s customers’ preferences and experiences, so McDonald’s became highly personal and relevant. As we only had broad customer insights an in-depth segmentation study of McDonald’s’ customers’ behaviour was conducted. This study brought new knowledge and allowed us to be even more targeted, but we wanted to take it to the next level. In order to make the identified five segments actionable and move from mass communication to one-to-one communication, we matched this information with media consumption data. We then set out to combine the segmented data with an agile digital approach in a way never seen before – transforming insights directly into digital personas (profiles) to be used in our digital programmatic planning and buying tools.

Getting personalMcDonald’s Custom Audiences_Transforming the segments into digital personas_Image 1

When serving a banner for a client who opted in, or via our data partnerships, our Data Management Platform (DMP) grabs two types of information: cookie ID of the device we served an ad on and the URL where the ad was served. Our DMP then crawls the URL, scanning it for unique keywords and phrases, identifying what makes this page unique. All findings are tied together into our world model – a semantic model displaying what the Danish population is consuming in terms of specific words and phrases from articles, blogs, commercial and non-commercial sites within the last 30 days. The findings are also tied to the specific users’ profile so each ad impression tells us something about that specific user and the Danish population as a whole.

We then take the insights from the McDonald’s segment study and use them to identify users belonging to a given segment. The Immortals, for instance, are tech oriented, so we identify users where tech terms and phrases are overrepresented compared to the world model. We also know that they are predominantly male singles. From our socio-demographic segments in the DMP we know how to identify these users as well as what makes them different from the rest of the population. The system looks at all the cookies that fulfill the constraints set forth – i.e. consuming tech, interested in gaming and other things that characterise the segment and identify what makes them unique as a segment, creating a positive sample of an Immortal.

We then compare the rest of the population to that positive sample and identify the users/cookies that correspond enough to the positive sample to be included in the segment, and through our DMP/DSP integrations we are now able to buy those segments programmatically.

 Enhancing the creative output

McDonald’s Custom Audiences_Tailoring the creative to the right segment at the right time at the right platform - No Waste_Image 4

Being able to target the desired target group in such a precise manner gives the creative agency the chance to create messages and product offerings with a better fit to that specific target group. The level of precision targeting means that the creative agency can create day parted messaging for each segment e.g. targeting Joe, the Immortal, creating a McMuffin message for morning hours, Cheeseburger for lunch time, McFlurry as the tempting afternoon snack and a Big Mac meal for dinner time. So in essence, our targeting technology enables us to fulfill the marketing dream of the right audience with the right message at the right time.

Data-driven results

McDonald’s Custom Audiences_Buying of digital activities towards the segments_Image 5 Our new approach has generated significant value to McDonald’s. Not only on a media ROI level but at a core business level as well, positively affecting sales and the ‘cost per guest count’:

  • The overall digital ROI has increased from 2.6 to 5.8 – performing better than TV!
  • Programmatic Buying has the lowest cost amongst all media groups for bringing a guest into the physical restaurants – and at an index 17 compared to traditional digital display buying – so more than five times better than traditional display advertising.
  • Through the use of data, the sales lift from Digital activities has tripled from 2013 to 2014 and digital is now generating close to 20% of the total media-driven sales.

Moreover, this approach and use of technology have become best practice globally within McDonald’s and is currently being implemented across markets.

Week Four- Sony CHAPPiE

CHAPPiE is a movie released by Sony Pictures, centred on Chappie, a police droid who is stolen and given new programming. Effectively born again with artificial intelligence, Chappie was raised from a ‘baby’ to think and feel for himself in the impressionable underbelly of Johannesburg. What impact would nature and nurture have on his upbringing, and could his creator rescue him from becoming the very problem he was initially created to police?

chappie_countdown_01 (2) (2)

Our challenge

We were given two marketing goals – demonstrate a point of differentiation between CHAPPiE and the cornucopia of other robot movie releases, and to ground the story of CHAPPiE in a way that our young male audience can connect with.


The motifs of CHAPPiE concentrated on the idea of self-expression. What do we learn from our surroundings (both personal and physical) and what impact does that have on who we are and who we become. When developing as human beings, how do we outwardly express ourselves as the existential sum of our learned parts? We took the idea of self-expression and looked at how our young male target audience express themselves in the real world. Our chosen method had to align with the themes of CHAPPiE but needed to remain grounded in a way that delivered against one of the key goals. By talking to our target audience and looking closely at the themes of the movie, it became clear that graffiti and street-art were the most interlinked expressive forms of creative output we could use in our marketing and media.

Europe’s largest piece of shareable graffiti artSony Pics - Chappie - Use of Social Media - Image 2

Our solution was to build Europe’s largest shareable piece of graffiti art – a 60 feet by 10 feet piece of art created by professional artists using the themes within the movie itself. The artwork was made up of 600 individual canvasses that, when completed, could be dismantled and shared with others – mirroring the theme that we are all just a sum of our learned parts; a canvas on which the world paints itself. However, the artwork itself would only become relevant with the involvement of some key social influencers to let everyone know about it.

Creating noise

An experiential event such as ours existed within a small space for a relatively short time, therefore for it to be relevant we needed a lot of people to know about it quickly. We ran a live-stream of the creation, and eventual destruction, of our artwork via Twitch, played out to core gaming fans who were able to prove had a higher propensity to watch sci-fi movies than the average cinema-goer. We invited 14 of YouTube’s most creative influencers from around Europe to help produce the artwork, whilst recording and posting about their time with us to fans throughout their social channels. At the end of the evening, the giant piece of graffiti art was taken apart and shared amongst the YouTube influencers who gave the pieces away to their fans.

“I can’t believe how this has progressed, from an idea to the event and the huge reach it has had. I couldn’t be prouder of the program and the team. We risked a lot to get this off the ground and it paid off in a big way. I want to thank everyone involved for all of your hard work, dedication, creativity and most of all spirit of true partnership to make this happen. The Chappie event has set the standard for what all of the markets worldwide want to be a part of going forward.” – Aaron Wahle – SVP International Digital Marketing

The results

Sony Pics - Chappie - Use of Social Media - Social Domination - Image 1

The first-of-its-kind campaign delivered more live-streams of the artwork being produced than the live-stream of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 premiere. We were able to capture our target audience’s imagination in a way that helped double the film’s unaided awareness levels versus the genre average for that time period and as importantly demonstrated, to Sony Pictures, OMD’s credentials in being a true marketing-performance partner.


Week Three- McDonald’s Top Chef

By OMD Spainimage 4

The challenge

In Spain the Quick Service Restaurant category faces a huge lack of differentiation due to aggressive communication centered on price, creating the battle of the €1 promotions. Yet despite low prices consumers still want more for their money. Consumers are hungry for added value and far from impressed with ordinary promotions. Therefore, we challenged McDonald’s to strengthen the communication of their premium products through innovation and quality, leaving the €1 battle behind.

Top Chef

The idea was to create a brand new burger right in front of the consumer’s eyes, promoting McDonald’s commitment to innovation and quality. Our objective was to tell the whole story from the very beginning with authentic and credible people up till the selection process when a new McDonald’s product would be born.

We created a story told in a natural, non-intrusive way that linked to the Spanish food culture. We found the perfect laboratory to create this innovation: the most watched TV contest for professional Chefs, called “Top Chef”. Top Chef is the most watched cooking show for professional chefs in Spain and, since its first season, has maintained the highest audience numbers during prime time. For McDonald’s it was the perfect place to gain credibility around quality and innovation while being closely connected to a user with the same interest and passion around food.


Making the vision a reality in under 24 hours

The eight competitive chefs faced a challenge to create the most delicious burger ever, whilst using any ingredients they wanted. At the same time McDonald’s accepted the challenge of turning the winning creation into a commercial product right after the show, and without knowing which recipe would make it to their restaurants, this was a great risk for the brand.

The 20-minute branded TV content was a springboard to launch the new product nation-wide, 24 hours later. What’s more, all viewers who voted for the winning creation, through our specially designed app, were invited to try out the burger the very next day.

With the Jury

The results

The results were outstanding for both McDonald’s and the category as a whole. From an estimated 4% increase in sales, the burger exceeded all expectations with sales reaching 2.5 times higher in just six days, accounting for 10.1% of all McDonald’s products sold.

Five weeks later sales kept rising at 6.5%, a rate 2.5% higher than predicted.

Brand awareness increased 15% compared to the 4 previous weeks and, after the show, McDonald’s reached 74% brand recall with an 88% buying intention.

Week Two- 7Up Wall of Music

As part of 7Up’s relaunch campaign, we wanted to create buzz around the brand’s new positioning by bringing to life what 7up stands for in an interactive way. We wanted people to experience the brand’s purpose of “Originality to spread the positive beat” in a surprising, engaging manner.


Our insight

The unstable geo-political situation in the Middle East has hit youth the hardest. The economy is sinking, jobs are scarce and the overall confidence in a better future has never been weaker.

In Lebanon, the economic situation is equally grim with unemployment reaching an all-time high of 35%. Yet, Lebanon proves to be the most positive country in our region, fuelled by its relentless hope in the future, its ability to turn the negative into positive – just by looking at things in a different light. Lebanon presented the perfect premise for the launch of 7Up’s new positioning that revolves around acts of originality to spread positivity and courage.

Our research showed that 7Up was lacking a deeper connection with the youth, mainly caused by the ‘functional’ perception the brand had gained throughout the years: the ultimate Lemon and Lime refresher. Our challenge was to do something different that would stand out, create buzz and perpetuate a positive impression on our audience.

A day to remember

April 13th marks Remembrance Day in Lebanon, the 40th anniversary of the civil war that tore the country apart for 15 years. The bullet-riddled walls that people walk by every day in Beirut are a grim reminder of the difficult and violent past.

In a region where the sounds of bullets are growing louder and louder, 7Up wanted to inspire people to look at these walls in a whole new light. We knew that Facebook and YouTube command the highest view and engagement rates in the region when it comes to videos. Moreover, videos perform best when uploaded on their respective channels. Our aim was to counter all the war-related content found on social media in the region with a message of peace, love and music.

The Wall of Music

 We went to the green line conflict zone that separated West and East Beirut and created a very special wall: The Wall of Music. The Wall of Music was installed in Beirut Souks, depicting painted musical lines over a bullet-ridden wall with motion-activated sensors that interacted and activated with passers-by to unleash an uplifting melody, transforming bullet holes into musical notes. We then invited the band Bel Arabi to compose a song to commemorate the day, as the crowds started singing along ‘no more wars, no more bullets, just the sound of music, the sound of hope’.


A documented online film capturing the people’s interaction with the Wall of Music and went viral to spread positivity in the whole region. We utilised keyword targeting with terms like “bullets” and “civil war” to reach people searching for war-related material online and provided them with a positive response. We uploaded two separate copies (English and Arabic) on YouTube and Facebook and pushed out the videos with paid media support to reach critical mass.

The results:

The activation reached over 1.1 million people and the video was viewed over 646,000 times. With the total population of Lebanon being only 4 million, our video reached almost 28% of the population!

Consumers experienced the brand positioning in an interactive way and we achieved 97% positive sentiment across all mentions. Moreover, our Brand Index also reported positive results with a 65% increase in buzz and 47% increase in positive reputation. Word of mouth around this positive activation rose by 46%. With regards to earned media, the execution received more than $222,000 in added value.

Finally, the lingering sound of bullets was replaced by a more positive beat, making Remembrance Day this year truly a day to remember.

The 7Up Wall of Music campaign was a great collaboration between Impact BBDO Dubai and OMD MENA.

Ten years leading from the front

OMD was recently crowned the most creative global network by the Gunn Report for the 10th consecutive year. The Gunn Report is the industry’s official measure of creativity and innovation. In the last year OMD has had an outstanding run, being awarded over 340 accolades in EMEA alone, of which almost 20 were for Agency of the Year.

This prestigious achievement is not only reflective of our global community but a fabulous recognition of the dedication of our teams and the great work that is being carried out in this region. The inspiration and drive that produces this great work comes from collaboration with some of the most dynamic and forward-thinking clients in the world. We would like to thank our clients, media partners, and all our employees across the region who ensure we are always asking, always thinking and always doing – the benchmarks for success in any marketing performance company.

Over the next ten weeks we will be celebrating this mighty accolade to creativity by deep diving into some of our award winning work from the last year: from McDonald’s Top Chef and John Lewis Monty the Penguin, to Disney Star Wars Rebels Alliance and Talk to Google. Each week we will showcase the innovation and creativity that validates our position as the most awarded agency in the world. This week we will lift the bonnet on the hugely successful Channel 4 Humans, a phenomenal campaign by OMD UK, which made the theme of artificial intelligence exciting and relevant to mainstream audiences, convinced people synths were real, delivered 6.1 million viewers of the first episode and gave Channel 4 their highest rated originated drama of all time.

Nikki Mendonça
President, OMD EMEA

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