The previous brand signature, “Oh, if everything was as easy as it is at McDonald’s” created little emotional attachment. Its discourse was limited to functional arguments. So McDonald’s briefed Brain Value to identify insights in order to inspire some brand positioning routes that reflect its DNA, while constructing a more emotional brand.
A hybrid approach was used by Brain Value, combining study device and strategic planning
McDonald’s is a sociological brand: 1 out of 2 French people go to a McDonald’s at least once a year. This means there is a great diversity of targets to be dealt with, from children to hurried urban adults, including one of its star targets: teenagers.
Thus we favoured an approach which was as close as possible to the targets’ reality: the method of life scenarios, aimed at understanding not just the consumers’ needs, but also their life choices, their values, the places they frequent… so as to place their relationship with the brand in a more general lifestyle context. We met consumers at home, at McDonald’s, or in their habitat. We often saw them with their friends or family.
To take the example of families, we met with blended, single-parent and traditional families, as well as “vertical” groups, with several generations around the same table, from grandparents to grandchildren.
Outstanding / impressive results (source Prix Effie)
Come as you are
We identified a top ten group of brand insights, which federated the various targets. The first two ran as follows:
“McDonald’s is mine, and I’m at home, I don’t need to make any effort, I’m myself, I don’t need to wear makeup like I do when I have a date with my boyfriend” (19 year-ago girl)
“With McDonald’s, when I take my kids there on a Wednesday afternoon, I’m not afraid to act the clown, I feel a bit like someone else” (41 year-old father)
These insights were inspiring
They allowed the agency to make a “creative leap” and then imagine the campaign “Come as you are”.
This campaign allowed the brand to evolve by opening up its fundamental values, which were not yet at the brand’s core: modernity, dynamism, freedom, openness, tolerance, mingling and welcome.
Today, given the success of “Come as you are”, France is the only country where McDonald’s does not use its international signature “I’m lovin’ it”.