Why McDonald's Is Cannes Marketer of the Year
Like finding that last fry at the bottom of the bag, McDonald's has delighted with surprising bits of advertising creativity over the years.
The Golden Arches has won 77 Lions across categories from around the world since winning its first Cannes Lion, a Gold in the TV category in 1979. And it has been named Creative Marketer of the Year at this year's festival because, as Lions Festival CEO Philip Thomas said, it "consistently places creativity at the heart of its advertising and communications" -- a success story that should inspire other brands.
So how does McDonald's do it? One market at a time.
"We are a highly decentralized organization," said Matt Biespiel, senior director-global brand strategy. "The vast majority of the creative work is developed by the markets." Mr. Biespiel, along with Marlena Peleo-Lazar, VP-chief creative officer, sits in a "global center" that finds a strategic direction for those markets or coordinates them when a global campaign is needed, as in the case of the World Cup. The brand also holds regular "creative-review board" meetings where all markets and agencies discuss the work they have developed, taking part in peer-to-peer evaluations on what they can do to make the work strong.
McDonald's won that first Gold Lion for "Mary Ryan," a decidedly '70s musical spot about an everyday girl who manages to make a connection with a cute boy at a McDonald's. For the next 35 years, the company has continued to make waves in design and communications -- from the instantly recognizable Golden Arches to the more recent "Our Food, Your Questions."
Here are some of our favorites.