McDonald’s unveils multilingual World Cup campaign in 75 markets

    Dive Brief:

    • McDonald’s unveiled its largest global campaign to date timed to the 2022 FIFA World Cup, per details shared with Marketing Dive. Titled, “Wanna go to McDonald’s?,” the effort will launch across 75 markets at the same time. 
    • A minute-long campaign spot features ten languages and four dialects as it depicts soccer fans and families begging the question “Wanna go to McDonald’s?” The star-studded effort includes TikTok personality Khaby Lame, K-pop artist ITZY, Twitch streamer Edwin Castro, and “Ted Lasso” star Jason Sudekis.
    • Market-specific activations will focus on local interests and cultures, some of which play off of the similarities between McDonald’s’ iconic yellow and red branding and the penalty cards issued in soccer games. 

    Dive Insight:

    As the franchise attempts to portray through its largest global push to date, McDonald’s is a language spoken worldwide. At a time when people seem more divided than ever, the brand is using a theme of commonality to ground its 2022 FIFA World Cup campaign.

    The campaign’s central spot is directed by Darius Marder (“Sound of Metal”) and Alan Yang (“Parks and Recreation”) and depicts soccer fans around the world in both victory and defeat planning their next move to McDonald’s using various languages. The commercial was filmed in four locations around the world in pursuit of authenticity, and as the spot progresses, references to the fast-food chain also include its global nicknames. 

    McDonald’s will also activate country-specific activations. For instance, as Canada competes in its first World Cup in 36 years, the company will issue promo codes for free McDonald’s as yellow and red cards are issued during the country’s games. Fans in the Middle East will be encouraged to take pictures of red cards, draw fries on them and post the photo with the hashtag #WannaGoToMcD in a promotion titled “The Happiness Swap.” 

    To celebrate the game-day passion delivered by Arab football commentators, McDonald’s MEA is partnering with commentator Raouf Ben Khelif who will take to TikTok and encourage fans to duet his videos. In China, McDonald’s is playing off the fact that time differences mean many games will be played at midnight local time. As a result, McDonald’s China will deploy 11 “midnight riders,” the number of players on a standard soccer team, for food delivery. The riders, dressed in uniform, will also take to TikTok to livestream their deliveries. 

    In the U.K., McDonald’s is partnering with soccer players from the Wales and England men and women’s teams to encourage sign-ups for the franchise’s free Fun Football sessions and is partnering with nonprofit FareShare to ensure every meal delivered on game day is matched for a family in need. In the U.S., the franchise will engage with fans both on and off social media in real time.  

    Highlighting commonality across cultures has been a dominant theme among World Cup marketers. In September, Coca-Cola launched its campaign, “Believing is Magic,” which included a hero film that depicted an everyman-type football fan imagining their team winning the World Cup and the ensuing celebration. Similarly, Anheuser InBev’s Budweiser brand launched a campaign that featured football fans from around the world running onto the pitch alongside some of the sport’s great players.


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