McCain takes a surprising approach to promo

From sampling in a boutique to teaming up with Philip's air fryers, the brand made National French Fry Day more engaging.


McCain Foods marked National French Fry Day with range of different promos – some more expected than others.

On the experiential side, McCain Foods paired its frozen fries with upscale bags and home goods as part of a surprise and delight in a Montreal boutique. When checking out, shoppers were posed with the “want fries with that?” question in a place they weren’t usually used to hearing it, and given samples from a vendor in an old-timey paper hat and yellow bow-tie.

This video content was accompanied with a call-to-action encouraging Canadians to tag or direct message McCain with images of recent purchases on Instagram they also paired their fries with, in exchange for a coupon for a free bag of McCain Superfries.

According to Michael Embir, marketing director at McCain Foods, given that Canadians in particular have nostalgic memories of McCain products from their youth, as a brand it looks to create moments of surprise and levity.

“We wanted to prove that fries are the perfect side [to anything],” Embir notes. “It was about uniting customers together in ways that enable special moments to be made, together – because who doesn’t ‘want fries with that’?”

The brand activated on July 13 more conventionally as well. McCain partnered with appliance brand Philip’s and Walmart to cross-promote air-fryers, with content running across different platforms as a means of targeting traditional or chosen families.


McCain also partnered with a number of Walmart locations across Canada to surprise-and-delight shoppers with in-store couponing for free McCain fries. Both the digital and in-store elements on National French Fry Day were a great success in terms of meaningful brand engagement, with all coupons being claimed before the end of the day.

Embir tells strategy that this year’s overall execution saw a scalable increase in funding compared with a typical National French Fry Day.

“We continue to focus on reaching the consumer in mediums that are most relevant to them, whether that be in-store, online or in in this case, a home goods store,” he says.

Although double-digit category growth has tapered in recent months, according to Embir it is continuing to see consumers increase fries consumption.

Rethink supported the creative for the campaign.