Silver Spike

Case Film

Presentation Board

CategoryA03. Best Use of Live Events and/or Celebrity Endorsement
EntrantDDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Entrant Company DDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA
Advertising Agency DDB Sydney, AUSTRALIA

The Campaign

McDonald’s Australia was looking to use the Australia Day celebrations as an opportunity to increase brand relevance and sales among Australians. As a company synonymous with America, increasing relevance to Australians when the country celebrates what it means to be Aussie was always going to be a challenge. In Australia there’s no greater sign of acceptance than being given a nickname. Therefore, the best way for an American brand to become Australian was to embrace their Aussie-only nickname – ‘Macca’s’. Research-led media relations incorporating an announcement of McDonald’s submission of Macca’s to the Macquarie dictionary, was used to set the scene for the campaign. This outreach generated significant reach and played an instrumental role in McDonald’s giving their Australian operations the go-ahead to ‘tamper’ with their brand. Six weeks later, Australians woke to Macca’s restaurant signage at key iconic locations around the country. Through innovative media relations, the inclusion of Macca’s across all elements of the campaign was amplified globally. Media relations then capitalised on opportunities that evolved off the back of the initial success of the campaign. Including leveraging a local community’s petitioning of McDonald’s to add their community to the list of areas with a Macca’s sign, and Coca-Cola’s offering McDonald’s access to their most iconic Sydney billboard. By the end of January, McDonald’s was one of the most-talked about brands and biggest news items of the month, with coverage that created more than 11 billion PR impressions. McDonald’s also saw a year-on-year growth in sales of 6.7%.

The Brief

With an ultimate goal of increasing sales, McDonald’s Australia’s overarching business objective for this campaign was to drive brand love and relevance among all Australians, by celebrating Australia Day at their restaurants across the nation. Social media listening and consumer research was undertaken to understand the ways in which Australians embrace McDonald’s as a part of the community, which the business has been involved with for more than 40 years. Results revealed that Australia was the one place on earth where consumers called McDonald’s, ‘Macca’s’.


McDonald’s application to have Macca’s added to the dictionary generated over 736,000,000 PR impressions as well as discussion across social media channels. When it came to unveil the Macca’s pylons Australia was facing a cluttered local news agenda, leading us to leverage global outlets to drive initial coverage and ensure the story was so significant. Australian media could not not cover it. The outcome was more than 11 billion PR impressions in over 200 pieces of coverage. The entire campaign generated 272 stories across traditional media channels, mass conversation in social media and 11,006,836,424 PR impressions. Importantly, key messages were included in 100% of coverage, with 99.7% positive in tone. By the end of January, one of the world’s most iconic American brands had become one of Australia’s most loved brands, leading to a year on year sales increase of 6.7% for January.


To create a context for McDonald’s to change their name, in November 2012 we started the debate in social media before conducting an outreach which highlighted the popularity of the name. We then announced McDonald’s application to have Macca’s added to the Macquarie Dictionary. It wasn’t just Australia that embraced the campaign - the world started talking about those cheeky Aussies . Then on January 8 2013, Australia – and the world – woke to the famous golden arches, with an Aussie twist – Macca’s appeared on pylons and in signage across flagship stores throughout the country. Aussies loved the signage so much that the Central Coast community petitioned McDonald’s to have a Macca’s sign installed in their area, adding another phase to the campaign.

The Situation

McDonald’s is one of the world’s largest quick service restaurant chains with stores right around the globe. It’s also one of America’s most famous brands. Australia Day is a 3-day celebration when one of the most patriotic nations on earth becomes even more patriotic. This meant McDonald’s had a problem. They were the last place Australians would go on the most Aussie occasion of the year. The challenge was set. Was it possible to make Aussies love an American brand on the very weekend they celebrate what it means to be an Aussie?

The Strategy

In Australia, there’s no greater sign of acceptance than being given a nickname, so what better way for McDonald’s to prove to Australians how ‘Aussie’ they were by embracing the Australia-only nickname official after more than 40 years in the community. In a world’s first for McDonald’s, they would change their branding, with Macca’s appearing in place of McDonald’s in the land down. The change was spread across every channel including PR, social media, advertising, in-store and the iconic pylons which sit on the major roads outside of restaurants around Australia.


Name Company Position
Nick Simkins Jungleboys Producer
Scott Pickett Jungleboys Director
Amy Hansen Ddb Sydney Tv Producer
Domenic Bartolo Ddb Sydney Designer
Chelsea Lamond Mango Sydney Account Executive
Melinda Parris Ddb Sydney Senior Business Manager
Sophie Collins Ddb Sydney Business Manager
Sara Tomonari Ddb Sydney Senior Business Director
Richard Morewood Ddb Sydney Managing Partner
Tina Alldis Mango Sydney Head Of Media Relations Strategy
Guy Lemberg Ddb Sydney Copywriter
Adam Ledbury Ddb Sydney Art Director
Richard Morgan Ddb Sydney Creative Director
Cameron Hoelter Ddb Sydney Creative Director
Dylan Harrison Ddb Sydney Executive Creative Director
Zipporah Allen Mcdonald's Australia National Marketing Manager
Skye Oxenham Mcdonald's Australia Media Relations Manager
Paul Pontello Mcdonald's Australia Senior Brand Manager
Madeline Fitzpatrick Mcdonald's Australia Vp Director Of Marketing
Mark Lollback Mcdonald's Australia Cmo Anz