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Ads We Like: McDonald’s Canada recruits by encouraging friends to apply

McDonald’s Canada is recruiting friends to apply to work at its restaurants in the most endearingly Canadian way possible.

The fast food chain and agency Cossette have launched ‘Friends Wanted,’ a campaign that leverages the insight that young people are more likely to apply for jobs if it means working with friends. Interested friends are encouraged to apply together, get hired together and work together.

A set of commercials shows two young workers at a McDonald’s restaurant. In one, they are seen cleaning the drink station when one asks if the other is going to Ruth’s party. He says yes, and the other tells Ruth, who is sitting at a table, that they’re going. They considerably older Ruth tells them to bring their dancing shoes.

A second shows them playfully altering their name badges to “Mick Chiggen” and "Chris P Nugget" as they giggle gleefully. A third sees one trying to figure out an order. He reads that it’s an Egg McMuffin with “no egg, no cheese and no English muffin.” A little girl on the other side of the counter shouts out “That’s my ham.” To which they reply, “that’s fine.”

The idea is that friends working together can have fun and get work experience.

“One of the key benefits of working at a McDonald’s restaurant is the camaraderie among crew members,” said Antoinette Benoit, chief marketing officer, McDonald’s Canada. “With this campaign, we are celebrating the spirit of friendship while continuing to build on and express our ongoing belief in Canadian youth.”

The campaign aims to differentiate McDonald’s in a crowded youth employment market, drive applications and boost McDonald’s reputation for being a fun, accessible place to work.

The ‘Friends Wanted’ campaign is a recruitment first in that it includes an online application form that allows potential staff to apply with a friend. Additional assets that will be piloted as part of the program are an updated Owner-Operator hiring toolkit including digital and print ads, tray liners and crew stickers.

“It's a simple, but powerful shift that has the potential to not just double the number of potential applications, but makes the idea of working with friends real,” said Jordan Hamer, associate creative director at Cossette. “McDonald’s has always been a big employer of youth and this strategy is a direct response to how today’s young workers want to engage with employers.”

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