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The Drum Awards Brand Strategy McDonald's

How McDonald’s fanned the flames of engagement on Twitch with #TheSpicyDebate


By Awards Analyst, writer

December 6, 2022 | 4 min read

McDonald’s Singapore won at The Drum Awards for Digital Advertising APAC 2022 in the Best High Impact Campaign category for its ‘#TheSpicyDebate’ Twitch campaign. Here’s how it dialed up the heat.


The debate heats up for McDonald's / McDonald's Singapore

Since its debut in the summer of 2021, McDonald’s Chicken McCrispy has inspired heated online debate among Singaporeans centering on one crucial question: just how spicy is this sandwich?

McDonald’s Singapore partnered with live streaming platform Twitch to keep the fiery conversation alive.

The brief

Although McDonald’s Chicken McCrispy generated a lot of buzz in Singapore, consumer findings post-product launch found that while product awareness was high, purchasing consideration was below the brand’s benchmark goals.

The fast food chain wanted a way to increase both awareness and product consideration while sparking authentic consumer conversations about the product and showcasing the sandwich as crispy, juicy and tender.

The idea

McDonald’s engaged in social listening, through which it learned that a primary barrier to getting consumers to try out the Chicken McCrispy was a division in opinions regarding the sandwich’s spiciness. Some felt it was too spicy, while others felt it wasn’t quite spicy enough.

The brand decided the best way to increase consideration was to insert itself in the center of the debate. It set out with the goal of gaining 10,000 votes, driving the product’s likeability metric up 10% and raising both first-time purchases and repurchase intent among consumers by 10% each.

McDonald’s partnered with Twitch to host #TheSpicyDebate via live stream. The team tapped popular Singaporean streamer /JulynnLau to host the event and get users to chime in on which side of the debate they fell on.

The event was promoted on Julynn’s social channels ahead of time, and on the day of the event, the sponsored stream featured prominently on Twitch’s homepage, encouraging users to join in on the fun. Julynn hosted the live stream decked out in McDonald’s merch. She showed viewers all of the branded products that McDonald’s had sent to her before introducing #TheSpicyDebate about the Chicken McCrispy. To hit the brand’s goals of showcasing the sandwich as crispy, juicy and tender, Julynn did a live taste test, sharing her real-time reactions to the product’s taste and spiciness. She opened up a poll inviting users to share their opinions in the stream’s chat.

Additionally, viewers were encouraged to head to a dedicated landing page on McDonald’s website to weigh in on an official poll. Twitch users also gained access to special November-only McDonald’s deals, which encouraged them to go out and try the Chicken McCrispy and other McDonald’s products on their own.

The results

#TheSpicyDebate ignited a fiery response: it became the most-viewed Twitch stream in Singapore during the fourth quarter. Viewership numbers surpassed predetermined benchmarks by 160%. Many users were highly engaged, watching for more than 54 minutes – close to the full duration of the stream. Plus, McDonald’s gained 19,600 votes on its poll – nearly double what it had hoped for.

Beyond real-time engagement, the promotion succeeded in bolstering purchase consideration and sales. The product’s likeability metric shot up 13% and repurchase intent rose by 17% after the live stream event. It helped to fuel a quarter-over-quarter sales growth of 300%.

Ultimately, #TheSpicyDebate got consumers excited to buy the Chicken McCrispy and helped the brand build positive, real-time connections with audiences.

This campaign was a winner at The Drum Awards for Marketing 2022. You can see all the winners here. The Drum Awards for Marketing are currently open for entry. Find out how you can enter now.

The Drum Awards Brand Strategy McDonald's

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