Drum OMG: Increasing brand love by creating sharable, engaging content for McDonald’s

Drum: Increasing brand love by creating sharable, engaging content t for McDonald’s

Drum OMG won an award for 'Best Use of Content on Social Platform' at The Drum Content Awards 2018. We find out what challenges and strategies they used to produce this award-winning concept.

The background

Throughout 2017 it became clear that the newsfeed was becoming a media channel, it was an incredibly competitive space for content – publishers, brands, celebrities and your friends all competing for ever dropping attention.

If we were going to hit our targets we needed to deliver headline grabbing content. As a result we completely changed our competitive set. It didn’t matter what KFC or Burger King were doing, we needed to know what was getting the headlines. What was being shared?

We wanted cultural cut through, not just marketing cut through. Via in-depth analysis of what was being shared by our audiences and the cultural trends that they were engaging with, we begun identifying the creative and content elements that were driving those results.

The challenge

Social media has changed. Ad blockers, content blindness and algorithm changes have led to brands and publishers seeing organic reach dropping to less than 2% of total. If McDonalds were going to bring good times to their 16-24 audience through social, then corporate or dull wouldn’t cut it. McDonald’s social media would no longer be a place to complain. We would be the brand that made a positive impact, the brand that made you laugh, smile, and share.

Campaign objective

Our goal is to keep the brand front of mind and increase brand love, by creating content that people want to enjoy, share and interact with.

Rather than viewing posts in isolation, we analyse campaign performance through a combination of metrics, including engagement, reach and clicks taking into account format, objective and targeting.

The strategy

For McDonald’s ‘always on’ social, we create sharable, engaging content for Facebook and Twitter that taps into a key brand or audience truth.

Running an ‘always on’ production stream means creating content on a weekly basis. For this to work as well as it does, we’ve developed a very close working relationship with the client, and become unrivalled experts in the millennial/Gen Z mindset.

We revamped the social platforms in 2017 following a reappraisal of the strategy. Since then, we have transformed the content from corporate, product focussed posts into relevant entertainment that reflects our audience’s lives. Whether it’s a love/hate relationship with gherkins, fondness for the lukewarm chips at the bottom of the bag, or contentious issue around milkshake dipping etiquette, every post uses a brand truth to communicate with our audience and keep the brand front of mind. This had lead to our posts capturing the imagination of the nation.

From simple memes and text-only tweets to envelope-pushing format hacks, each and every post is conceived as a positive interaction for any of their social fans, laddering up to the brand line, Making delicious feel-good moments easy for everyone. Our content is easy and approachable, something you want to share with your friends, just like McDonald’s. Unless you’re talking about sharing my McNuggets. They’re not for sharing.

The campaign

We create content for McDonald’s social platforms that is instantly understandable and sharable and always relevant in the light-speed world of culture trends that our audience lives and breathes. We need to be ahead of the newest meme, GIF or trend to ensure our posts are relevant.

As a result, we ensure that we are ahead of the curve with newly released social network features. As well as being first to market, this also means creating content that puts the exciting features of the formats at the fore and making them part of the shareable enjoyment.

We’re also first to the punch for cultural trends through memetic content. Our posts 'Not you' and 'Nailed it' were inherently part of the cultural world our audience lived in and they responded with amazing engagement. However perhaps the best example is the headline grabbing, brain-bending'bring mcnuggets' optical illusion that was talked about across the globe in headlines on national and international news sites.

We produce content that goes out on a weekly basis, always remaining relevant to what’s happening in our audience’s cultural sphere at that precise moment. There is a constant flow of ideas through our in-house production team through to our partners in paid media to ensure that we were never late to the online party. We work across both Facebook and Twitter ensuring the nuance of both platforms was taken into consideration and work was built with each platform’s unique culture in mind.

Finally, we carefully monitor performance of our content (alongside external culture-creators) to understand exactly what’s working and why. All of our findings are funnelled straight back into the creative process, ensuring that next week’s content is even better.

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