McDonald's new campaign, a blast from the past

MUMBAI: McDonald's mein hai kuch baat! (There's something in McDonald's!) While, last year it was the 'What your bahana is?' campaign rolled out by the fast food giant, this year a new campaign trots its old proposition of "Rs 20 Happy Price menu".

While, we savoured multiple Vivek Oberois donning the now classic 70s garb, this one too can be touted as a 'blast from the past' but with a difference.


Mughal-e-Azam's "Salim" propagates McDonald's Happy Price menu

McDonald's ad agency Leo Burnett has dished out five different commercials with five Bollywood icon look-alikes - those of Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna, Dev Anand, Sanjeev Kumar and Dilip Kumar. As of now, two commercials featuring Dev Anand and Dilip Kumar are on air. The others will be rolled out in a phase. The films have been shot by Code Red's Gajraj Rao and Subrata.

And that's not it. McDonald's will splash the town red with an extensive outdoor, print and radio campaign apart from the on-ground activities to promote the economical Happy Price menu. The campaign is targetted at the youth while making it clear to those who suffer from a preconceived notion that McDonald's is an expensive eating joint.


Purane zamane ki car does city rounds

The Premise

The commercial, shot at one of the McDonald's outlet, shows a 'black and white' Dev Anand / Dilip Kumar entering the outlet and enquiring about McDonald's burgers, which were available at a price point from their hey days. This bores reference to the Happy Price menu which is available at Rs 20. Wittily done, the ad drives home the point that McDonald's is a reasonably priced food joint.

Agency speak:

Creative team: Executive creative director (Mumbai and Delhi) Agnello Dias, creative director Harshad Rajadhyaksha, copywriter Kaushik Mitra, Gopal MS and Sadanand Narverkar.

Account management team: Shrikant Sarathy, Partha Sarathi Mandal, Rameet Singh Arora and Manita Panjwani.

Sarathy reveals, "Once the client was as excited about the idea as we were at Burnett, we asked for help in short listing the heroes we were going to feature. Soon everyone got involved enthusiastically, client and agency, and we collectively chose a cast of ever green actors."

Arora on the other hand exclaims, "The idea was to reinvent the Rs 20 proposition and instead of carrying on last year's campaign, we decided to come up with new ads and make the proposition come alive."


Dev saab explains the menu to a passerby

McDonald's India vice president (Western region) Smita Jatia says, "Ideas normally come from the product. But this one emerged from the price ponit of the product. The best thing about this idea is that it cuts across generations. I can easily see a 50 year old enjoying these commercials as much as an 18 year old."

The on-ground activity was undertaken by Crackerjacks, wherein there were morchas along with the look-alikes skirted the cities of Mumbai, Bangalore with a couple of cities in Gujarat. Crackerjacks' Gayatri Gogate says, "It is always a challenge to execute a creative idea in a format, in which it was not originated. But, I think we are bang on. We are not just catching people’s attention but doing justice to the original idea."

A group of kids propagate the 'purane jamana' price of McDonald's

Speaking on the execution of the ad, Code Red director Gajraj Rao says, "There are ad films and there are ad films. But here was an idea that I knew would immediately catch on to the imagination of the people. Between Subrata and me, we had to bend schedules, re-watch a lot of classics from the point of view of work, screen test over 40 actors, spend many sleepless nights chalking out plans but in the end, we had a lot of fun doing these films. And when you know people will love what you do, it’s every bit the extra effort you put in."

The agency has consciously refrained from slapstick comedy and has stuck to the real element. Interestingly, the actors' look-alikes in the commercial are shown in black and white against the colourful world of McDonald's and is a good blend of two different eras.

Burnett's Rajadhyaksha is of the opinion that in order to break the clutter, creatives must reinvent itself. Through the new campaign, the agency expects new footfalls at McDonalds' outlets since the 'affordable' factor is stressed on.

The other commercials featuring look-alikes of Raj Kapoor, Rajesh Khanna and Sanjeev Kumar will be on air soon coupled with the outdoor, radio, press and cinema ads. While McDonald's is quite bullish this year, the new promotional, it seems, will only provide a boost to its sales.

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