Positioning itself as the ‘brand of the people’, the McDonald's campaign focussed on the fans and volunteers who make the Games possible. By steering clear of anything too athletic or sporty, the team at Leo Burnett helped the brand differentiate itself from other sponsors. What’s more the ‘We All Make the Games’ campaign, which picked out various faces in the crowd, translated well across many different forms of media, including a Neil Gorringe-directed TV spot and ambitious outdoor campaign that invited members of the public to submit images of themselves to be featured as ‘Fan of the Day’ on the iconic Piccadilly Circus display.
LBB> What was the core message that McDonald’s were most keen to portray during their Olympics campaign?
The London 2012 Olympics are being dubbed ‘The People’s Games’. McDonald’s is a ‘brand of the people’, serving customers every day with great value for money food that people love. We wanted to work with McDonald’s to use the sponsorship to celebrate the ordinary people who are behind the games, without whom they would not happen.
From the 70,000 volunteers whom McDonald’s have helped to train, to the crew who will be serving visitors every day in the Olympic park, to the great British public, McDonald’s customers, who will play a fundamental role in making the London 2012 Games as great as they can be - passionately cheering on the athletes, creating the atmosphere, showing the world the best we have to offer. Together, ‘We all make the Games’.
By focussing on the great British public and the role they will play in The Games we have created something we believe will resonate with consumers and is very relevant for the McDonald's brand.
LBB> Were there any particular challenges involved in coming up with the strategy and creative approach?
Due to relevance and originality we did not want to attach the campaign to athletes or sports, as so many other sponsors are doing.
But at the same time we had to remain relevant to the Olympics, and be celebratory of it - given that McDonald's are a long-standing global sponsor. So it was a challenge to develop an impactful, relevant strategy for a campaign focussed on the Olympics, which did not focus on sport.
We also have several requirements for the campaign: demonstrate pride of McDonald's sponsorship of the Olympics, celebrate the role the brand plays as the people's restaurant, celebrate the 70,000 Games Maker volunteers whom McDonald's have helped train, celebrate the McDonald's staff who will be working in the Olympic Park and show that we understand what The Games will mean to the great British public - all in a way that will ultimately drive affinity with the brand. And we needed to encapsulate all this in a single, integrated campaign, with a single over-arching idea.
Our aim is to deliver a reactive campaign which features genuine people who are making the Games the marvellous spectacle we know it will be.
Arguably the most exciting, and challenging element of this campaign is that it will continue to develop and evolve as The Games progress.
The logistics of delivering not only a large scale, multimedia campaign for launch but then continuing to develop and deliver this campaign on an on-going basis, are of course huge and complicated.
We will incorporate content, which anyone can send us via Facebook, into the campaign (www.weallmakethegames.co.uk
) through digital outdoor, online and press. We will be continuing to shoot TV footage around the country on an on-going basis, so that we can update our TV ad throughout the Games.
LBB> How did you go about conveying the message - what were the solutions?
We developed the overarching idea of "We all make the Games" both as a rallying cry for the nation to participate and a recognition of all we know the British people will contribute to the Games.
It is also an idea that allows us to deliver on all the requirements of the campaign - it is wonderfully all encompassing in that it heroes the people, all the people - be they the fans, the Games Makers, the McDonald's Crew or even "the not really keen-ers".
The idea works across outdoor, including the biggest outdoor media buy ever for McDonald’s in all the major transport hubs in London, TV, press, social media and digital.
In order to truly bring this idea to life we needed to allow the campaign to evolve throughout the Games - so that it is a genuine depiction of how the British people really are making the Games all that they are - not just an advertising conceit.
The aim is to deliver a genuinely integrated and truly reactive campaign that actually includes the public in the conversation, enabling the campaign to contribute to the Olympic experience, not just associate with it.
LBB> In terms of a timeline, were there different 'waves' or phases of your Olympic (and pre-Olympic warm up) campaign? If so how did they roll out?
Transport hub London outdoor launched on 23rd June
The TV launched on 13th July with both 60sec and 40sec TV
The National outdoor campaign launched alongside the TV.
The digital and social media campaigns also launched on 13th July, as did the Facebook app.
Press starts on 28th July in the Sun newspaper.
The campaign will continue to run throughout London 2012 - until the end of the Paralympic Games.
As the campaign is continuing to evolve throughout the Games the TV advertising will be refreshed several times during the Games period. We aim for the last round of TV to, as much as possible, only feature genuine members of the public - so there will be no actors or pre-prepared material.
We will also be refreshing the digital outdoor advertising, press and online advertising throughout the Games, using content submitted by our fans and customers.
The digital posters will be refreshed as often as possible - the intent is to do this daily, using real fans’ photos.
LBB> What do you think the final campaign says about the relationship between McDonald’s and the Olympics?
This is the culmination of a long-term marketing strategy, founded on an understanding of our customers and what McDonald's means to them - this campaign also demonstrates what we know the Olympics will mean to them.
It appreciates the similarities between the Olympics and the McDonald's brands - it is about what the two brands share at their heart and mean to people; participation, enjoyment and being open to everyone.
Ultimately it is a campaign that is genuine and true to McDonald’s customers, the London Games, the McDonald's brand and the Olympic brand all rolled into one.