McDonald’s goes upmarket, with some down-to-earth, upbeat fun from DDB

September 7, 2016

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Sensing the growth in premium burgers, McDonald’s in Singapore has made a bold attempt to go upstream with its Signature line of burgers.

But really, can McDonald’s go upmarket and retain its popular appeal? At stake is a shot at the lucrative, high-growth mass-tige market.

To signpost a new premium range for McDonald’s, we needed a provocation, a new vernacular to engage Singaporeans – but without losing the core personality and charm of McDonald’s for the everyman.

You don’t have to be Jewish to love Levy’s – goes that classic DDB campaign. Well, you don’t have to be rich to enjoy premium, either.

Humour has a way of cutting across social classes, rich and ordinary – especially if you tap into the local vocabulary.

We found the idea in subverting the Singlish word, ‘atas’, which means ‘high class’. In essence, we subvert obnoxious and snobbish ‘high class elitism’ for a more tasteful, down-to-earth and fun kind of ‘everyday premium’. ‘Atas’ is also an everyday Singapore term of affection.

The idea: “Now everyone can atas!”

To kick things off, McDonald’s featured a montage of famous and ordinary Singaporeans relishing the burgers. Especially the nation’s most celebrated (and cheeky) radio personalities, Glenn and the Flying Dutchman.

It signposted the launch of a premium range of burgers from McDonald’s, whilst keeping to the brand’s fun and down-to-earth appeal. It’s about the ‘democratisation of excellence’ (if you’re into an atas way of saying it).

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The television spot featured Glenn & FD in a cheeky signature banter about what really is ‘high-class’ food. Isn’t it amazing when a brand can laugh at itself and bring laughter to win friends and influence sales?

The campaign also came alive in outdoor and digital banners. It became a huge national hit for a premium-priced product by McDonald’s.

‘Atas’ proved to be a hit with Singaporeans – with sales shockingly amazing week-by-week, and social media raving about its goodness. It seems McDonald’s has a big hit at premium!

It’s a bold and imaginative campaign in which McDonald’s client deserves to be applauded for their marketing savvy and their guts!

Now, everyone can Atas!

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