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McDonald's is embracing its anime identity.

McDonald’s is leaning into its anime cult-status by introducing WcDonald’s

The quick-service restaurant is adding a new sauce along with special packaging and multimedia elements

WcDonald’s — a digital-only version of McDonald’s created by fans — has been a staple in Japanese-style 2D animation anime movies and shows for years, but now it is coming to life. The quick-service restaurant will introduce a new sauce, packaging, and videos on Feb. 26 in more than 30 markets around the world, along with an in-person dining experience in Los Angeles, the chain announced on Wednesday.

“Anime is a huge part of today’s culture, and we love that our fans have been inviting us into the conversation for years,” said Tariq Hassan, chief marketing and customer experience officer at McDonald’s USA, in a statement. “The WcDonald’s universe is a reflection of what fans have created. It honors their vision and celebrates their creativity, while authentically bringing it to life in our restaurants for the first time ever.”

The Chicago-based chain is introducing a new sauce for the limited-time campaign: Savory Chili WcDonald’s sauce. It’s made of ginger, garlic, and soy, with a slight heat from chili.

Inspired by the isekai subgenre of fantasy, where a character is suddenly transported from their world into a new or unfamiliar one, an in-person restaurant experience will happen in Los Angeles March 9-10.

Guests will be transported into the WcDonald’s universe through 360 projection mapping and immersive tabletop projections inspired by four WcDonald’s anime episodic shorts while enjoying a set menu of WcDonald’s items. 

There’s also new packaging designed in collaboration with artist and illustrator Acky Bright in the manga style, which refers to Japanese-style graphic novels. At the participating stores, customers will receive the special packaging featuring WcDonald’s crew members.

A code on the side of the packaging will give customers access to weekly digital manga drops with WcDonald’s customers and crew, including Hashirune, a WcDonald’s regular; Mr. Bev, the crew jokester; WcDizer 3000, WcDonald’s very own mecha (commonly depicted as giant robots), and many more.

“I had a great time partnering with McDonald’s to help make WcDonald’s a reality for manga fans who have a genuine love for the brand,” said Acky Bright in a statement. “From the details of the diverse crew characters to the manga plot itself, I loved being able to use my artwork to bring to life the dynamic, vibrant world of WcDonald’s for people around the world.”

Leaning further into the world of anime, McDonald’s has also partnered with animation house studio Pierrot to produce four episodic shorts that will debut every Monday from Feb. 26 until March 18. These shorts will be available through the code on the outside of the new packaging or via the chain’s new website, WcDonald’

The shorts will honor four of anime’s biggest subgenres: Action, Romance, Mecha, and Fantasy. The company describes them as follows:

  • The Race to WcDonald’s (drops Feb. 26): A rivalry strong enough to withstand the test of time as our two heroes embark on an epic race to WcDonald’s.
  • Love from Across the Booth (drops March 4): Our two protagonists discover the WcDonald’s Sauce and WcNuggets aren’t the only perfect pairing.
  • WcNuggets Space Frontier 3000 (drops March 11): A team of WcDonald’s pilots must protect the last WcNugget against an ominous force.
  • The Wisdom of the Sauce (drops March 18): Three women are transported to a distant land to unravel the mystery surrounding the elusive sauce before it's gone forever.
TAGS: Menu Marketing
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