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How McDonald's Australia increased youth recruitment with Snapchat lens


By Dani Gibson, Senior Writer

February 28, 2019 | 5 min read

Prior to its merger with Y&R at the end of 2018, VML Australia took on a world-first with McDonald’s in launching Snaplications, a one-of-a-kind Snapchat lens that enables Snapchatters to apply for a job 'in a snap'.

In Australia, McDonald’s hires around 30,000 young people every year, making them the largest employer of youth in the country. Globally, there is a perception that working for the fast food retailer is menial.

The task at hand for VML was to combat the brand perception that McDonalds was not seen as a ‘cool’ place to work for many Australian youths. Over the past several years, it became harder than ever to attract young workers. With that and outdated hiring practices that did not entice the current youth generation McDonald’s needed a new way of looking at recruitment, and way get people excited about the prospects of a job with the golden arches.

McDonald’s is seen as as an entry point into the workforce, providing valuable training and work experience to develop the skills needed in future careers. Meaning that the majority of applicants had no prior work experience and the concept of submitting a traditional resume was daunting to those who had to sell themselves on their personality alone.

“Our objective was to find fresh and enjoyable ways for people to interact with us as a brand, so it made sense to engage with young people on a platform we know they are already on and love” explains Jo Feeney, marketing director McDonalds Australia.

Snapchat was identified as the perfect channel to reach the young audience, who had already gravitated towards the platform, wanting a more one to one way of communicating.

VML created Snaplications, the instant job application that changed the face of McDonalds recruitment. It allowed young people to apply for a job in under 10 seconds through Snapchat. In Australia, 45% of Snapchat users are aged between 18-24 and it is the third most popular social platform among 18-29-year-old Australians. By using a platform and mode of communication young people are already familiar with, they were able to overcome the traditional barriers to recruitment.

Snaplications 2

In using a Snapchat lens, people could transform themselves into one of the McDonald’s crew, and in 10 seconds or less, explain why they’d be the perfect person to join the team.

To support the lens, ads were created and executed across Snapchat, McDonald’s restaurants and major universities, schools and public transport locations that could instantly trigger a snaplication.

“As an agency, we are always looking for new and creative ways to get more out of the tech that’s available to us," says Aden Hepburn, regional chief executive officer at VMLY&R Sydney.

“We’re extremely excited to be leading this innovative partnership between Macca’s and Snapchat and developing a new purpose for the platform.”

The campaign welcomed global success, earning an estimated reach of 312 million people across major news outlets around the world, after only three days.

Within the first two days, McDonalds hired its first crew member, with many more following in the weeks after. 3000 Snaplications were received within 24 hours, four times higher than traditional methods gathered in a whole week. It also received 1.5 years’ worth of playtime with the Snapchat lens in 24 hours, the highest brand sentiment score for McDonald’s in five years.

To top of this success, Snaplications received various awards, including the Grand Prix at The Drum Mobile Awards 2018.

“We were thrilled to be awarded the Grand Prix award in 2018 for our work on Snaplications with McDonalds Australia," said VMLY&R Sydney. "The Drum is such an inspiring publication in our industry and this international recognition provides validation to our teams that we are delivering first class work, at the intersection of marketing and technology, for our client partners.”

With minimal client investment, a whole new stream of recruitment was created that has now become a permanent solution in Australia, as well as being adopted in the USA and Canada with more countries to follow.

McDonald's Snaplications - Case Study from Dave Di Veroli on Vimeo.

To be in with a chance to have your work applauded and rewarded by the industry's finest, submit your campaigns to The Drum Mobile Awards 2019. The deadline has passed but you can still enter by applying for an extension.

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