|Product / Service||MCDONALD'S|
|Category||G08. Market Disruption|
|Entrant||LEO BURNETT MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES|
|Idea Creation||LEO BURNETT MANILA, THE PHILIPPINES|
|Production||FILM PABIRKA Makati City, THE PHILIPPINES|
|Liz Taylor||Leo Burnett Worldwide||Global Chief Creative Officer|
|Raoul Panes||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Chief Creative Officer, Copywriter|
|Kat Limchoc||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Executive Creative Director, Copywriter|
|Judy Medina||Leo Burnett Group Manila||VP Account Management Director|
|Roz Patino||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Creative Director, Art Director|
|Reu Fermin||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Art Director|
|Ciara Baello||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Art Director|
|Celine Briones||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Copywriter|
|Rica Medina||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Account Director|
|Ricky Santiago||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Account Manager|
|Justine Racho||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Digital Creative Team Head|
|Joel Libo-on||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Digital Copywriter|
|Hannah Magno||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Digital Copywriter|
|Arjohn Yabut||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Digital Art Director|
|Lorenzo Alajar||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Digital Art Director|
|Gabrielle Santos||Leo Burnett Group Manila||Digital Art Director|
|Margot Torres||McDonald's Philippines||Managing Director|
|Oliver Rabatan||McDonald's Philippines||Marketing Director|
|Fidel Balbieran||McDonald's Philippines||Local Store Marketing Senior Manager|
|Joel Limchoc||Film Pabrika||Director|
|Ana Fe Manuel||Film Pabrika||Executive Producer|
|Lei Villena||Film Pabrika||Line Producer|
|Christine Blando||Film Pabrika||Assistant Director|
|Dix Buhay||Film Pabrika||Director Of Photography|
|Me-Ann Balesteros||Film Pabrika||Production Manager|
|Rene Milla||Film Pabrika||Line Manager|
|Sheinna Melano||Film Pabrika||Production Assistant|
|Jay Halili||Film Pabrika||Offline Editor|
|Aurie Anden||Film Pabrika||Colorist|
|Chris Cantos||Film Pabrika||Online Editor|
|Peter Legaste||Hit Productions||Music Arranger|
|Mark Villar||Hit Productions||Guitars & Music Mixing|
|Rico Gonzales||Hit Productions||Post Audio Engineer|
|Daryl Reyes||Hit Productions||Additional Music Mixing|
The McDonald’s experience has never been just about the food. The sounds and smells that surround you, the crew’s smiles that welcome you, the table you claim each time you visit. They all form part of the McDonald’s experience. This experience was shattered by covid-19. All of a sudden, McDonald’s was relegated to a brown bag delivered to your door by a masked rider. Contactless service made people feel safe, but in return, there were zero smiles, little warmth. McDonald’s needed to redefine its brand experience , in a way that was relevant in the new normal.
In March 2020, covid-19 brutally forced many businesses, including McDonald’s, to close its doors. In the months and the varying stages of lockdown that followed, the fast food chain fought to remain accessible via delivery and drive-thru, but with majority of dining rooms closed, McDonald’s had no choice but to give up its most powerful medium of engagement with its customers. With all restaurants brands pivoting to delivery services, the essence of and differentiation among brands were becoming blurred. And with no end in sight for the pandemic, McDonald’s knew that it couldn’t just “ride it out” and hope that customers remember the brand fondly when all of this was over. It needed a fresh way to connect with its customers in the new normal.
Since the lockdown began, the party rooms at McDonald’s have sat empty and unused. Rooms that used to be filled with children’s laughter, and used to welcome an average of 60 customers per party have turned dark and quiet. McDonald’s converted its empty party rooms into McClassrooms – quiet, sanitized, connected spaces that welcomed teachers struggling with the new normal of distance education . In a developing country where most homes were cramped and without an internet connection, McClassroom was an enormous help to teachers.
As the world’s longest lockdown dragged on in the Philippines, the 2020 school year opened to the harsh reality of distance learning. Filipinos were not alone in the struggle to uphold children’s education. But what made it harder for both students and teachers in the Philippines were not only their cramped conditions at home, but the sorely inadequate internet coverage. McDonald’s recognized that distance education is as much a challenge for teachers as it is for students. And as companies and private citizens raised funds for gadgets and portable WiFi kits, McDonald’s knew that it could do more, not just as a brand, but even more so as a member of the community. It had the space, the WiFi connection, and most importantly, it had the scale.
Upholding its responsibility to the community, McDonald’s transformed empty party rooms into McClassrooms : work areas for teachers who needed quiet, sanitized spaces to conduct virtual classes or develop teaching modules. Through community networks, teachers were invited to pre-register in their nearby McDonald’s store, and when they arrived, were welcomed warmly by the crew. Free WiFi and free McCafe provided a much-needed boost. Over 220 McClassrooms were opened all over the country, in time for the opening of the school year, which also coincided with National Teacher’s Month.
McClassroom welcomed over 450 teachers, and (virtually) tens of thousands of students all over the country. While it didn’t bring in incremental sales to McDonald’s, it brought in so much more. McDonald’s saw a 142% increase in social media engagement, a 420% spike in social media shares, and $300,000 worth of free PR values. The overwhelming appreciation for McClassroom translated to favorable imagery scores* for the brand and even the company. ● Is a company I trust : +1.5 ppts ● Is an ethical and responsible company: +2.8 ppts ● Makes a positive influence to my community : +5.1 ppts McDonald’s may have been unable to open its doors to its usual patrons, but through McClassroom, it reached its customers in an entirely different way. This initiative even inspired other McDonald’s markets experiencing similar lockdown difficulties to open their own McClassrooms. Imagery Scores from Kantar TNS Brand Health Monitoring tracking
covid-19 upended everyone’s lives and nobody was spared from the disruption. Survival was the imperative not just for businesses who needed to stay open, but also brands who needed to stay relevant. With dining rooms closed, McDonald’s suffered from the loss of not just foot traffic, but its most powerful medium of engagement with its customers. The use of the word “pivot” has become cliché, but this was what McDonald’s sought to do. McDonald’s may have been unable to open its doors to its usual patrons, but through McClassroom, it reached its customers in an entirely different way.