Product / ServiceMcDONALD'S
CategoryA02. Best Non-Fiction Program, Series or Film where a client has successfully created a reality, document
Contributing Company:SPRING AUSTRALIA Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

Branded content in Australia is a growing area across TV and digital platforms particularly due to the growth of video over broadband and social media. SBS and ABC (national broadcasting channels) have major restrictions in regards to brands and integration in programs. Our domestic free to air channels have some limited restrictions, however its largely self-policing based on the networks desire to balance brand involvement with program integrity and audience appeal. Hence most attempts at branded content end up in fringe time slots or on subscription TV channels with less than 5% audience share…What branded content the networks engage with is managed by them rather than brands doing deals with production companies. It is the holy grail of branded content to find a home on a major free-to-air network in prime time with a large prime time audience in attendance. This is the story of a huge branded content under-taking involving brokering deals with format owners, a network, and production crew. This is the story of bringing back a TV phenomenon … ‘It’s a Knockout!’


Remember being a kid when a trip to McDonald’s was the best? Happy Meals, Playland, Ronald McDonald … Today, McDonald’s is better known as convenient, functional, good value. Therein laid the challenge. McDonald’s needed to reconnect their Australian family heartland to the playful side of their brand. Connecting with the past seemed like a simple way to get back that lovin’ feeling. Products they loved from their youth were back on the menu after all… Our solution was to integrate into a show that would get them reminiscing about favourite family times as a kid, a TV show that would represent everything McDonald’s stood for as a brand. To hit our mass audience it had to be something that was aired on prime-time TV, perfect for the whole family. We knew exactly what show could deliver this. The only problem was, it hadn’t been on-air for 20 years. Fun, playful, family-friendly, if McDonald’s was a TV show, it would have to be ‘It’s a Knockout’. We knew we needed to bring it back to Aussie audiences, now we had to make it happen! We approached the original format owners and they loved the idea. Together we pitched the proposal to a primary free to air network. They instantly saw the potential, not just for a ‘one-off’ show but for a series in the prime family viewing slot of 7.30pm on Sundays. Production got to work. Set, talent, teams. Part brand funded, McDonald’s would have sponsorship exclusivity and integrated content, on a ‘supersize’ scale! We integrated all the most playful aspects of the McDonalds’ brand, including a young and energetic crew team, as well as the embodiment of Macca’s fun, Ronald and friends! The on-air date was set. It was time to give back Australia their all-time favourite family-fun entertainment!

There was a huge fan base for ‘It’s a Knockout’ in Australia, we just had to activate it. An orchestrated press release with media heavyweight Neil Shoebridge (marketing and media editor, Australian Financial Review), guaranteed a swift and vast pick up from other media across the country. The official ‘It’s a Knockout’ website, Facebook page and YouTube channel hosted all the classic clips from the original that people still talked about today. McDonald’s engaged their 250,000 Facebook fans and 80,000 crew members. The TV network created excitement and anticipation with substantial on-air promotions. The nation was ready and waiting.

With over a million people tuning in on episode one and #It’s a knockout becoming a worldwide trending twitter topic during the premiere, we knew we had captured the attention of the nation and brought to life the magic of Macca’s. • 30% uplift in ‘McDonald’s is becoming more popular’ • 24% uplift in ‘McDonald’s is a part of my summer’ 2 • 7% uplift in ‘McDonald’s is a brand for me’ 2 • 33%2 uplift in ‘likelihood to recommend McDonald’s’ 2 Best of all, they loved it. “It is great family entertainment, just like a trip to McDonalds” (Male, 36-40, Tasmania) 2 Premiere ratings: 1,356,000 peak audience (total people) 1,028,000 average audience (total people) It’s a Knockout campaign research conducted by OMD Insights


Name Company Position
Helen Walker OMD Sydney Fuse Communications Director
Melissa Mullins OMD Sydney Sydney Strategy Group Head
Laura Nice OMD Sydney Fuse Account Director
Philippa Gray OMD Sydney Fuse Account Executive
Joanne Liddell OMD Sydney Fuse Head Of Fuse Sydney
Tony Skinner Spring Head Of Spring
Rick Spence Spring Director Of Production
Kimiko Roberts Fremantlemedia Enterprises Director/Digital And Brand Partnerships
Amber Brown Fremantlemedia Enterprises Senior Vice President Digital/Brand Partnerships