The K-pop Playbook: In McDonald’s ‘Famous Order’ Collaboration With BTS


When McDonald’s announced “ The BTS Meal ” in April, the launch of “ Famous Order ” exploded on social media – the number one trend in the United States and number two worldwide. At this point, Jennifer Healan, vice president of marketing, brand content and engagement in the United States, knew that McDonald’s was “on to something very positive,” admitting that even though it had had some time. success with the launch of Travis Scott and J Balvin, the reaction was “not to scale BTS”.

To bring some scale to BTS’s level of influence, K-pop superstars are one of the largest exports, bringing $ 4.65 billion to its economy last year while representing 70% of the country’s annual tourists.

Digitally intelligent, the global phenomenon is the master of attracting attention online. Between 2013 and 2020, there were 2,395,082,950 mentions of BTS on social networks. “BTS are like digital detectives,” Healan says. “They think about what their audience likes and appreciates, what excites them and gets engaged in it.”

Officially the biggest group in the world right now, McDonald’s has been keen to remove a page from the K-pop read book, using the collaboration to “increase fan engagement and boost the business, while celebrating our elements of basic menu ”, admitting that“ we looked at them because of how they reach their fan base, who are also McDonald’s fans ”.

One lesson from the K-pop brand machine that McDonald’s applies to the launch is what they call BTS’s “ smart tricks ” for teasing collaboration. “As part of our preparation for launch day, we’ve once again pulled out another page from the playbook, announcing what’s going on with the dates, as it’s also something that’s very culturally related. K-pop – give information to fans so they can know what to look for, ”she shares. “But we did it through the lens of the meal and the content we’re going to drop.

Masters of heralding album release, the boy group last month released an hour-long animation of a block of melted butter to promote their new single “Butter,” which will star in the McDonald’s campaign. With a sixth sense of what the BTS military wants to get into, while the animation is literally just melted butter, the graphic has garnered 16 million views and counting.

With ‘Butter’ serving as the musical backdrop for the collaboration, Healan says that “McDonald’s is playing part of the next chapter in BTS music” which dates back to the days of his’ I’m Lovin ‘It’ jingle when Justin Timberlake helped launch a marketing campaign tied around this slogan.

And, music to McDonald’s ears, the song released last week made YouTube history when it became the fastest video in YouTube history to surpass 10 million views – in just 13 minutes. . It now has 200 million views, the number one trend for music on the platform.

“We’re connecting with their fans in a way they’re used to,” Healan says, pointing to the fortuitous moment of the unique launch. “It really sets the tone for the campaign.”

From the start, she says BTS has been very involved in all of the development of the campaign. “Not only from the commission itself, but also from the craftsmanship of all creation. They were phenomenal as partners, thinking about all the different aspects of our campaign, from the film to the social posts we made to the development of the merch.

Indeed, one thing BTS is known for is its merchandising and endorsement empire, which is on a scale never seen in Western music thanks to BTS’s huge social presence. This allows them to reach millions of young consumers.

On May 25, Hybe Merch announced on Twitter the drop in BTS X McDonald’s merchandise via a group animation alongside the playful hashtag #DidYouFindThemAll? The bright graphic sees the group chilling out at a McDonald’s, wearing various merchandise ranging from t-shirts and sweaters to socks and even a suitcase, teasing their BTS army.

With the launch of BTS Meal in the United States, McDonald’s has finally revealed the BTS X McDonald’s product, which will undoubtedly sell out within minutes.

McDonald’s first started “ famous orders ” in 2020 during the Superbowl, where it asked some of its most iconic customers to connect with the rest of the country on Sunday night what their favorite orders were: Kim and Kanye, Millie Bobby Brown, Whoopi Goldberg, journalist Erin Andrews, Dracula, the Hamburglar and the Big Bad Wolf.

“It starts with our fans. No matter your size or fame, everyone has a McDonald’s order. And because of that, people feel even more connected to these celebrities. It’s all about authenticity, ”explains Healan. “It has become a strategic platform idea, which it is important for us to come back to while continuing to build the brand.”

After “ Famous Trays ”, McDonald’s collaborated with musicians Travis Scott and J Balvin, both of whom have proven to be important sales drivers in the United States, helping to strengthen its digital business and increase its digital customers, who downloaded their app during these promotions. That’s why, for this BTS launch, McDonald’s has created four weeks of dynamic in-app content for customers, which it claims to be the “ first of its kind. ” From launch, McDonald’s will unveil exclusive digital surprises featuring the group each week, which can be viewed on the app.

“As we think about how successful this is, this Famous Orders program is the perfect intersection of how we maximize our marketing, how it connects to our core because we highlight our core menu items,” explains Healan. “And also something really important is how we drive our digital ambition and also the McDonald’s experience when people go through the drive-thru. This program presents the perfect intersection of these three business-related elements. ”

“In my 15 years as owner and operator of McDonald’s, ‘Famous Orders’ has definitely stood out as one of the most creative and authentic marketing campaigns we have ever launched,” adds Vicki Chancellor, Owner and operator and president of McDonald’s, McDonald’s USA Franchisee Marketing Committee.

“Franchisees are the boots on the business ground, so to speak, and we can say what resonates the most with the customers and crew members of our restaurants. I saw first-hand the power of this program and how excited people are about BTS Meal, and couldn’t be more proud to be part of the company on this collaboration.


About Dawn Valle

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