McDonald’s typography-driven campaign reminds people of drive-thru and delivery during coronavirus

Simple ads from Wieden & Kennedy New York inform that the world's largest restaurant operator remains open in the U.S.

Published On
Mar 23, 2020

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McDonald’s is promoting its drive-thru and delivery options in a video campaign reminding consumers that its U.S. restaurants are still open for business. 

The world’s largest restaurant operator, like other chains, has pivoted to drive-thru and delivery as most parts of the country have ordered restaurants to shut down their dining rooms during the coronavirus pandemic. 

The new campaign consists of five, simple graphic spots with gold and red color schemes and lettering that will feel familiar to anyone who has ever dined at McDonald’s. Jennifer Healan, VP-U.S. Marketing for McDonald’s explained in a statement that the campaign aims to communicate two of the contactless ways customers can still get McDonald's during the crisis.

The wording that changes throughout the videos includes suggestions of popular items such as the Egg McMuffin, McNuggets and Big Mac. “Or some fries right now, because why not?” as one of the spots promoting drive-thru reads.

 
 

Delivery-focused ads play on the idea that people’s homes are now McDonald’s locations.

 
 
 
 

A fifth ad is about Happy Meals and breaks away from the largely yellow color scheme featured in the others. Instead, it features a red background and  words that curve across the screen in a symbolic smile. The campaign comes from Wieden & Kennedy New York.

 
 
"In the midst of this crisis, it was clear that we needed to stay open and continue safely serving our customers," Healan said. "Across America, McDonald’s is a big part of local communities. So we wanted to create work that reassured people that, no matter what, McDonald’s will still be there to take their orders."
 
McDonald’s, like other marketers, is walking a fine line between promoting its business and pausing its usual announcements amid the pandemic.

The company has been putting out statements focused on how its own staff and its franchisees are handling the pandemic, showcasing moments of kindness even as the restaurant giant faces renewed criticism to do more for workers such as increasing pay and sick leave.

McDonald’s has made some changes to its own protocols, such as offering two weeks of paid leave for any of its staff impacted by the coronavirus. And, as it pointed out on Friday, a Coronavirus Relief Package that passed Congress will require a large number of its own franchisees to offer paid sick leave to the people who work at their restaurants.

Many U.S. franchisees are taking steps such as offering free breakfast and lunch to children who are no longer going to school, giving out drive-thru meals to older people who might be in need or offering free coffee to first responders and healthcare workers, Joe Erlinger, president of McDonald’s USA, said in a statement on Monday. Some franchisees have offered up their parking lots to be used for medical purposes such as blood drives, and are helping feed people at Salvation Army shelters, the company said.

The U.S. campaign comes as McDonald's in the UK and Ireland shut down completely on Monday. It also follows a social distancing campaign out of McDonald's Brazil and agency DPZ&T that featured a separated version of the company's famous arches and has drawn consumer criticism for being an awards-baiting move, among other things.