McDonald’s draws up a play for the Big Mac

The QSR puts Raptors coach Nick Nurse in the kitchen to deepen its partnership with the team and promote its most iconic burger.

McDonal'ds & Nick Nurse

Toronto Raptors coach Nick Nurse is offering pointers to McDonald’s cooks in the QSR’s latest campaign, instead of being behind the bench.

A teaser video featured Nurse at a faux-press conference announcing that he would be coaching “a different team.” In different spots, Nurse, armed with a stopwatch, urges McDonald’s staff to “finish strong” as they assemble a Big Mac, while another features him looking on disapprovingly as the team incorporates the burger grill into “the wave.”

The campaign focuses on the Big Mac exclusively. Chuck Coolen, McDonald’s senior marketing manager, Eastern Canada, says that the QSR made a bunch of changes to how it cooks and prepares its burgers – previously the focus of its “Classics Remastered” campaign – all of which collectively made a big difference in tastes. Coolen says its research showed  one of the differentiators for the Big Mac was the “special sauce,” hence why it is highlighted in one of the videos.

Coolen says the interplay between the Raptors and McDonald’s is beneficial for an audience perspective, and what appealed to the QSR was its diverse, young and digitally savvy fanbase, which aligns well, he says.

McDonald’s partnered with the Raptors for the first time last season, and the guiding principle for the partnership has been finding ways to enhance the fan experience, as a way to differentiate itself from other brands that have perhaps hitched their wagons and their fortunes to the team.

To that end, McDonald’s Canada is also bringing back the “Beyond the Arch” promotion, which gave My McD’s app users in Ontario free fries whenever the Raptors drained 12 three-pointers in a game.  The brand had forecast 700,000 orders based on its metrics and analysis of the team’s previous performance, but when the team acquired long-range bombers like Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard, the team’s 3-point prowess improved and McDonald’s ended up giving away more than 2 million orders of fries.

For the upcoming season, McDonald’s Canada is expanding the promotion to make it available in more provinces across Canada, answering demand. In Quebec, McDonald’s also runs the “McGoal” promotion, based around first goals scored by the Montreal Canadiens – which has its own new Big Mac-centric campaign featuring team general manager Marc Bergevin and former player Guy Charbonneau.

Cossette handled the creative elements, with Weber Shandwick on PR and OMD on media.