You can see it playing out across a few areas. Firstly, McDonald’s “Famous Orders” platform, where the brand taps a celebrity to showcase their favorite meal, has helped McDonald’s speak to a new generation in authentic ways, Kempczinski said, while also boosting digital engagement. All without adding restaurant complexity since it’s a curation of products already on the menu, not an LTO or product-focused promotion.
The first—Travis Scott’s meal—arrived in September and represented the first time since 1992 a celebrity’s name was featured on McDonald’s lineup, only done prior by Michael Jordan.
It included a fresh beef Quarter Pounder with cheese, bacon, and lettuce, medium fries with barbecue sauce, and a Sprite. “The Famous Orders platform was based on a simple idea, but unites all our customers, including famous celebrities, is everyone has their go-to McDonald's order,” Kempczinski said.
The Travis Scott and ensuing J Balvin collaborations broke U.S. records. Yet they only set the stage for the most recent BTS Famous Order, which took McDonald’s ambitions global, connecting marketing, core menu, and digital strategies across 50 markets. It also marked the first time McDonald’s did so with custom packaging and four consecutive weeks of in-app content.
Kempczinski called the results “dynamite,” nodding to a lyric from the South Korean band.
The chain saw “significant” lifts in McNuggets sales and new levels of social engagement. But perhaps most notably, app downloads soared. McDonald’s trended No. 2 on Twitter across the world at one point, and No. 1 in the U.S. BTS and McDonald’s then created a merchandise lineup.
On Thursday, McDonald’s unveiled its next iteration, with hip-hop artist Saweetie. It lands August 9 and includes a Big Mac, 4-piece Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, Sprite, barbecue sauce and, “Saweetie ‘N Sour” sauce. This collaboration will also be served in new packaging.
“This is just the beginning of the digital customer journey at McDonald's,” Kempczinski said. “As we create more personal and seamless McDonald's experiences and make it easier for our crew to connect with our customers, we're giving customers multiple reasons to continue to come back to McDonald's. By using digital, we'll also leverage our advantages in value and convenience, daypart and menu breadth and our biggest advantage, our size and scale.”