‘It’s Getting Hot in Herre'. McDonald's McSpicy Asks The Nation If They Can Take The Heat
Created by Leo Burnett, the ad encourages people to take part in a #McSpicyDebate
14 July 2021
McDonald’s has announced the launch of the McSpicy burger onto its menus for a limited time offer, with a new ad campaign that invites customers to engage on social in one of the most hotly debated dinner table discussions: how spicy is it?
The campaign, created by Leo Burnett, plays on the subjectivity around how spicy food is by encouraging people to take part in a #McSpicyDebate. Customers can rate the spiciness of the hottest new addition to Maccers’ menu on social by selecting one of four spice tribes they belong to: “A lil’ kick”, “Pretty spicy actually”, “HOT, HOT, HOT” and “My mouth’s on FIRE!”.
Thomas O’Neill, head of marketing food & beverages of McDonald’s, said: “We’re really excited to be bringing the McSpicy to our menu. We wanted to create a campaign that leans into the inevitable debate our customers will be having about spice – and the result is certainly going to get people talking.”
In media planned and bought by OMD, dynamic OOH will pull live results from national and regional Twitter polls into panels dotted around the country, giving consumers an insight into the leading spice tribe. Digital OOH panels will also be adorned with user generated Tweets, further showing consumer opinions on the McSpicy.
The campaign will also be served on display, social and app – including a McSpicy Snapchat lens and its own custom emoji and GIFs developed by Leo Burnett, so people can have fun interacting with the campaign. OMD has also brokered a social content partnership with LADbible, featuring those who’ve put their tastebuds to the test and tried the McSpicy for themselves.
Mark Elwood, executive creative director of Leo Burnett, said: “Spice is so subjective – what might be eye wateringly hot for some, may be a mere tingle for others. Telling customers the McSpicy is ‘hot’ could fuel disappointment to hardcore spice fiends or alienate others with a weaker constitution... So why not invite customers into the debate to judge our burger for themselves.”
Accompanying the social campaign will be a 30s TVC directed by Simon Neal and produced by UNIT9. ‘First Bites’ is an entertaining and authentic celebration of Britain and Ireland’s diverse taste buds set to Nelly’s ‘Hot in Herre’ iconic soundtrack. The 30s spot records the genuine reactions of the cast on trying the new burger and the ad’s light-hearted and playful approach and tone will remind people of McDonald’s ‘Hungry Eyes’, ‘Ker-ching!’ and ‘We Deliver’ ads we’ve seen in recent times.
For the launch of the campaign, McDonald’s will disrupt the traditional radio ad break with a Global partnership that’ll see Roman Kemp and Jamie Theakston lay bare their spice tolerances in engaging pieces with Dexter, the voice of McDonald’s. Some of the nation’s favourite podcasters will weigh in on the debate too, with Sh**ged, Married Annoyed and Two Pints with Will and Ralph lined up to give their view on McDonald’s newest product.
There will also be a series of PR activations from PR agency Red, from influencer debates, celebrity samplings and national PR and social activations.
The campaign will run for six weeks between 14 July and 24 August in the UK and Ireland while the limited time offer is available.
CAMPAIGN TITLE: #McSpicyDebate
VP MARKETING & FOOD DEVELOPMENT: Michelle Graham-Clare
DIRECTOR MARKETING & FOOD: Steven Howells
HEAD OF MARKETING – FOOD & BEVERAGES: Thomas O’Neill
MARKETING MANAGER: Jo Conlon
SENIOR BRAND MANAGER: Lucy Johnson
CAMPAIGN ASSISTANT: Celia Brown
ADVERTISING AGENCY: Leo Burnett
CCO: Chaka Sobhani
EXECUTIVE CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Mark Ellwood
CREATIVE DIRECTOR: Andrew Long and James Millers
HEAD OF PLANNING: Tom Sussman
COPYWRITER: Alice Pearce
ART DIRECTOR: Aaron Taylor
DESIGNER: Sam Kallen and Jakk Breedon
PLANNER: Benjamin Obadia
BUSINESS LEAD: Ana Saffer
ACCOUNT DIRECTOR: Jack Brenman
ACCOUNT MANAGER: Imi Malone
ACCOUNT EXECUTIVE: Hope-Precious Engele
PROJECT MANAGER: Siobhan Mulcahy
AGENCY PRODUCER: Alex Taylor
Photography PRODUCER: Jo Hodge
MEDIA BUYING AGENCY: OMD
LA PRODUCTION COMPANY: Unit 9
LIVE ACTION DIRECTOR: Simon Neal
FS PRODUCTION COMPANY: Food Hall London
FOOD SEQUENCE DIRECTOR: Scott Grummett
RADIO PRODUCER: Adam Furman
PR AGENCY: Red Consultancy
EDITOR: Nick Armstrong, TenThree
POST-PRODUCTION COMPANY: Framestore
AUDIO POST-PRODUCTION COMPANY: Factory
PHOTOGRAPHER: Scott Grummett