McDonald’s goes local

For its new national campaign, the brand is showcasing the faces behind the arches.


Building on the transparency tactic used with its “Our Food. Your Questions.” campaign, McDonald’s Canada’s new national push focuses on the real people who make the restaurants what they are.

The five-week “Welcome to McDonald’s” campaign, led by Montreal agency N/A, will feature TV spots, OOH ads, digital takeover, cinema, a microsite, wild postings and transit dominations across Canada.

The brand began consulting with N/A last year, but this is the first campaign from the agency for McDonald’s. Tribal Worldwide led the digital execution, while media buying was led by OMD and PR by Weber Shandwick.

The brand interviewed 450 people, including employees, suppliers and customers, and took more than 10,000 photos for the campaign. The no rehearsal, no makeup approach was important for showcasing the real people behind the brand, says Antoinette Benoit, SVP of marketing for McDonald’s Canada.

“There’s lots of connection here with ‘Our Food. Your Questions,’” she says. Still focused on transparency, the new campaign puts the spotlight on the people behind the brand, rather than the food itself.

The origins of the campaign came from speaking to consumers and McDonald’s crews across Canada last year, Benoit says. From that, the brand learned that the restaurant is still seen as a global company and wanted to highlight its “multi-local” approach instead.

Instead of a typical brief to the agency around a specific target demographic, the campaign instead was about showcasing the humanity behind the arches and McDonald’s as a place of common ground, she says.

“In each market, we’re really part of the fabric,” she says. For example, more than 85% of McDonald’s food in Canada in sourced within the country, and the campaign seeks to highlight the brand’s support of local economies, she notes.

“We thought it was time to explain that because it was not always obvious for a consumer that we are so much part of the Canadian fabric, that we operate locally.”