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Wieden + Kennedy New York Business on the Move McDonald's

W+K New York wins lead creative agency for McDonald’s USA


By Kyle O'Brien, Creative Works Editor

September 13, 2019 | 4 min read

McDonald’s USA announced that Wieden+Kennedy New York has been named its new lead creative agency for US business. This marks a switch from Omnicom, which won the business in 2016 and created a bespoke agency, We Are Unlimited, to handle the McDonald’s business.

McDonald's names W+K NY lead creative agency

McDonald's names W+K NY lead creative agency of US business

The announcement, according to a McDonald’s release, comes after an extensive evaluation of its marketing agency model to support current and future growth with innovative and creative brand building campaigns.

McDonald’s will continue to work with We Are Unlimited on some assignments, and that the agency will continue to support the business with a “focus on operational excellence”.

“We remain a proud partner with McDonalds’s and are working closely across both the McDonald’s and We Are Unlimited teams to ensure we remain focused on our shared goals and priorities,” said the official reply from We Are Unlimited.

The move to the independent agency is part of McDonald’s Bigger Bolder Vision 2020 business transformation strategy.

“As marketers for the iconic McDonald’s brand, we have the responsibility to continue to innovate and modernize our marketing. We are transforming every aspect of our business, and now took the opportunity to ensure that we have the right agency partners in place to accelerate our growth,” said Morgan Flatley, McDonald’s USA chief marketing officer. “We are confident the talented team at Wieden+Kennedy New York will drive the creative excellence that will influence culture and develop relationships with our customers in new ways. We would like to thank We Are Unlimited for their work over the last three years supporting key moments in our transformation and operational excellence.”

According to the release, W+K NY was chosen for its “strong strategic and creative output and successful track record in developing provocative content to develop relationships between customers and well-known brands including Nike, Bud Light, Coca-Cola (for Sprite and Vitamin Water) and Delta”.

It went on to say that the agency was able to learn about the brand quickly and develop creative ideas to “influence culture and drive customer excitement. The talent on the team will bring innovative storytelling capabilities and strategies to McDonald’s that will create more powerful and transformative experiences for our customers”.

Colin Mitchell, McDonald’s senior vice-president of global marketing, added: “Globally, we are trying to evolve our creative, like the rest of the customer experience. This move allows us to push our vision for modern marketing in this very important market.”

McDonald’s initiated an agency review earlier this year, and the brand stated that throughout the review, it became clear that it would benefit from “additional creative horsepower to build deeper connections with customers and drive re-appraisal of the brand”.

“We’re incredibly excited and honored to be part of the McDonald’s team at this critical juncture in their business transformation,” said managing director of Wieden+Kennedy New York Neal Arthur “McDonald’s has created some of the most iconic branding, advertising and marketing initiatives the world has ever known, and we look forward to working across the company and agency network to continue this rich tradition.”

McDonald's scrapped the global chief marketing officer role earlier this year, but regional chief marketers are still in place.

Wieden + Kennedy New York Business on the Move McDonald's

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