McDonald’s restarts debate about the Big Mac Bacon

The QSR aims for a sense of "co-ownership" for its most iconic product with characters that have become faces of the brand.

McDonald’s Canada is once again looking to “celebrate the love” Canadians have for the Big Mac by bringing them back to a debate and incorporating some friendly new faces of the brand.

The sequel to the 2017 Big Mac Bacon campaign features the two original, witty, debaters, as well as the two crew buddies featured in the QSR’s prominent 2019 recruitment campaign, “Friends Wanted.” In the latest edition of the Big Mac Bacon campaign, the spot shows the two “Big Mac debaters” quibbling over the details of the name of the “Big Mac Bacon” and if it is, in fact, a “Big Mac.” Then, the camera zooms out to the two crew buddies behind the cash, and they both share that they too have a difference of opinion on the matter.

Rebecca Smart, national marketing manager for McDonald’s Canada, tells strategy the goal of this campaign is to once again find more playful ways to talk about its products and celebrate the love consumers have for the Big Mac.

Smart compares the new campaign with last year’s “Hotter. Juicier. Tastier.” campaign, which focused on how the QSR cooks and serves its classic beef burgers. In other words, “quality” was the focus of that campaign. “In this campaign, [it’s] the other side – which is really about celebrating the love that consumers have for the Big Mac on a more emotional level,” she says. “[It’s] really balancing food quality with brand love.”

The consumer insights for this latest campaign were rooted more in building off of the success of the 2017 campaign, Smart says. Where as the 2018 campaign for the Big Mac Bacon was based on building hype in the way one would for a fashion launch, this year’s edition brings it back to a more grounded approach to enforce the connection with consumers. “We really wanted to have a strong connection to our consumers, and have them have a strong connection to the Big Mac, and really feel that sense of co-ownership – this is just as much their product as it is ours.”

McDonald’s Canada’s “Friend’s Wanted” campaign featured a series of ads that used the theme of friendship as an employment pitch, based on the insight that teens are more inclined to apply for a job if they’ll be able to work with friends.

According to Smart, the latest Big Mac Bacon campaign is less about incorporating the recruitment goals of the “Friends Wanted” campaign and more about finding a way to integrate the crew into the campaign as the “face of the brand.” Smart says there was “a lot of positive reaction” people have expressed for the characters.

“We have used them again in a couple other touchpoints of our creative as well,” she says. “ “It’s just really a fun way to bring the debate to our employees, because they’re also fans of the brand and fans of the Big Mac…showing really that, even at the restaurant level, there’s going to be a difference of opinion.”

Cossette led on creative, which launched at the beginning of the month on TV, radio, OOH, digital and social channels, and runs until Jan. 27.