McDonald’s has found tremendous success leveraging celebrities to generate buzzy, traffic-driving campaigns, from the likes of Travis Scott, BTS, Saweetie and more.
Now the chain is turning to one of the most popular characters for its “Wanna go to McDonald’s” FIFA World Cup global campaign – Ted Lasso. The company announced today it is partnering with Jason Sudeikis, who plays the endearing Lasso in the original comedy series, for what it’s calling its “largest global campaign to date.”
The social-first campaign marks the first time that more than 75 McDonald’s markets around the world have launched the same campaign at the same time. The objective is to get McDonald’s World Cup fans to “rally together through a unifying activation while allowing them to experience the tournament in ways unique to their local cultures,” according to a press release.
Thirty-two teams are expected to participate in the World Cup, which runs from Nov. 20 through Dec. 18 in Qatar. Historically, the FIFA World Cup has been one of the most watched sporting events in the world and this year’s event is expected to draw billions of viewers accordingly.
That projection alone will win over some intensely captured audiences for McDonald’s, one of the event’s sponsors. Its accompanying campaign looks to resonate with as many of those global consumers as possible, including through a short film featuring 10 languages and four dialects.
The campaign will feature market-specific activations that will tap into local fan interests and cultures, all centered around the “Wanna go to McDonald’s?” theme. For example, to mark team Canada’s first World Cup in 36 years, the actors will flip the script on red and yellow cards, turning them into something to be excited about. As cards go up during the game, McDonald’s Canada will send promotional codes to order free McDonald’s.
Fans throughout the Middle East will also get in on the red card theme with a social activation called “The Happiness Swap.” Any time a ref throws a red card, fans are encouraged to snap a pic, draw fries on the card, and post it with the hashtag #WannaGoToMcD. In return, they’ll receive a promo code for free fries in the app. In China, midnight is peak viewing time for the World Cup, so McDonald’s China is sending out McDelivery via a special team of “midnight riders” with unique uniforms. In the U.S., McDonald’s will engage brand and World Cup fans in real time via social and offline interactions.
The campaign’s stars should provide some additional excitement. The global demand for Ted Lasso on Apple TV+, for instance, is nearly 45 times higher than the channels’ average show. In 2021, Ted Lasso became just the eighth series in 74 years to win Outstanding Comedy for its first and second seasons. It also became the most Emmy-winning comedy for the second year in a row.
Also appearing are Khaby Lame, a TikTok star with nearly 152 million followers on the platform; K-pop group Itzy, which has 10 million TikTok followers and 18 million Instagram followers; and EA Sports Twitch Streamer Edwin Castro, who has more than 3.4 million Twitch followers and nearly 2 million YouTube subscribers.
“The reason our global McDonald’s System is excited about this campaign is because it just feels so true for our fans. While we may all root for different teams this World Cup, what we can all agree on is that every celebration is a little bit sweeter with McDonald’s World Famous Fries, and every missed goal or yellow card stings just a little less when you’re enjoying a Big Mac,” Morgan Flatley, McDonald’s Global Chief Marketing Officer, said in a statement.
“Wanna go to McDonald’s?” launches across the world on November 14, a little less than one week before the tournament opener between Qatar and Ecuador.
Contact Alicia Kelso at [email protected]