McDonald's has teamed up with a number of other companies for a collaborative International Peace Day effort, including rival Burger King, which began a public push for action with its McWhopper idea.
The campaign, including a 30-second commercial seeking donations to a leading global hunger organization, comes as hundreds of thousands of people are displaced worldwide. Peace Day is Monday, Sept. 21.
McDonald's said when it asked the United Nations and its World Food Programme what it could do, they asked it to raise awareness of the refugee crisis and encourage people to donate to the WFP.
The spot was created by TBWA and paid for by McDonald's. The commercial, which uses cartoon imagery and is voiced by Liam Neeson, mentions the refugee crisis, how refugees are hungry and pushes people to donate. It carries no McDonald's branding.
McDonald's said CEO Steve Easterbrook and others contacted other brands to seek their participation. Brands involved that added their media weight include Burger King, Cargill, Facebook, Google, MasterCard, McCain Foods, McDonald's, OMD, Twitter, TBWA, United Airlines and DreamWorks Animation, which also got Mr. Neeson to record the voiceover.
McDonald's said it donated TV and digital ad time in 38 countries. It also donated a promoted trend on Twitter (#peaceday).
The World Food Programme plans to use funds from this campaign to support its emergency response fund, including those affected by the current situation in and around Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. According to the World Food Programme, more people are currently displaced than at any time since World War II.