McDonald's just launched its most epic marketing campaign yet

McDonald's As Featured in campaign
(Image credit: McDonald's / Warner Bros)

We've seen plenty of elaborate marketing campaigns from McDonald's over the years, but its latest looks set to be the most epic yet. Covering over 100 markets, McDonald's 'As Featured in' campaign celebrates the brand's cameo appearances in a wide range of iconic films, series and songs.

With the idea that "everyone has a McDonald's order, even in the fictional world," the fast-food brand is launching a series of 'trailers' and teasers ahead of the release of a 'movie' and limited-time 'As featured meal' on 14 August (see our pick of the best print adverts for more inspiration).

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We've seen McDonald's create or inspire plenty of iconic on-screen moments of its own – not least the Grimace Shake massacre and the recent return of the McDonald's eyebrows. But its latest campaign makes use of the many appearances its products have made in wider pop culture, from George Costanza treating his date to a Big Mac in Seinfeld to The Office boss Michael Scott's penchant for Filet-O-Fish.

Graphic pieces feature scenes from films and TV series in which McDonald's orders were made, while limited-edition packaging lists some of the titles each item has appeared in, including Coming to America, Fast and Furious, Space Jam and The Devil is a Part Timer! It's not just visual references, either. There are also musical references, such as You be Illin' by Run DMC for its immortal line "He gave a quarter and his order, small fries, Big Mac!" (no mention is made of the fact that the track also name-checks KFC).

McDonald's As Featured in campaign

Give this bag an Oscar (Image credit: McDonald's)

The packaging features a QR code that leads to an interactive experience in which customers can watch key scenes in which the item was featured and also buy merchandise from London streetwear brand Palace. But this is all just part of the build-up to the main event on 14 August.

The 'As Featured in' meal will feature a choice of 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, a Quarter Pounder With Cheese or a Big Mac and medium fries – all items that have appeared TV shows or films. There's also Loki-themed sweet and sour sauce with a QR code that leads to sneak peeks of the upcoming second instalment of the Disney+ series.

McDonald's As Featured in campaign

The graphics from the McDonald's campaign feature stills from a range of films and series, including the upcoming second season on Loki (Image credit: McDonald's)

And McDonald's is keeping us guessing about what's in store for the accompanying main commercial, or 'movie'. Head of social media Guillaume Huin wrote on Twitter that the roll-out of the campaign is built like a movie release. "Teaser. Trailer. Movie poster. Stills. And as expected our 'movie' (fancy name for our commercial) will be out on 8.14. And there might be new footage of some of your favorites shows in there."

Whether you think the campaign is a glorious celebration of McDonald’s enduring place in entertainment or a glorification of product placement, there's no doubting the level of ambition. It sounds like it may have cooked up either special previews or perhaps even exclusive content from some of the titles mentioned in the campaign.

There will also be restaurant interventions. A Brooklyn McDonald's is to be turned into a Loki-inspired scene set in 1982 and a California restaurant to feature a Palace pop-up.

For more ad inspiration, see our pick of the best McDonald's marketing campaigns and the best billboard advertising.

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Joseph Foley

Joe is a regular freelance journalist and editor at Creative Bloq. He writes news and features, updates buying guides and keeps track of the best equipment for creatives, from monitors to accessories and office supplies. A writer and translator, he also works as a project manager at London and Buenos Aires-based design, production and branding agency Hermana Creatives, where he manages a team of designers, photographers and video editors who specialise in producing photography, video content, graphic design and collaterals for the hospitality sector. He enjoys photography, particularly nature photography, wellness and he dances Argentine tango.