McDonald’s Audio-Driven Ad Achieves Top Brand Recognition Without Mentioning Brand Name



Read Time

3 min


11 June, 2024

What cues do you think of when you consider how brands build recognition?

Most of us think about the visual appearance of something such as the logo, colour palette, and tagline.

For example when we see a tick we think of Nike, or when we see an apple, we think of well, Apple.

Quite interestingly, McDonalds’ latest advertising campaign features very little of their visual brand apart from a glimpse of the famous golden arches at the very end.

Instead it relies heavily on audio, but even then there is no actual mention of the full brand name.

The campaign which aims to showcase the role McDonalds plays in today’s youth culture has achieved an “exceptional” brand recognition rating according to System 1 (a creative effectiveness platform that allows advertisers to test their ideas).

This is despite the fact that it doesn’t feature any products, restaurants, or indeed, the entirety of the brand name.

Different colloquial nicknames of the brand are however mentioned throughout the ad such as “Maccers”, “Maccies”, and “McDizzle”.

Regardless of the fact the brand name and actual products are missing, the brand is still instantly recognisable and familiar to audiences according to System1. In fact it scored a fluency rating of 95 out of a possible 100, indicating the level of brand awareness and recognition the fast food chain has acquired.

Jon Evans, Chief Customer Officer at System 1 said:

McDonald’s new creative is a brilliant example of the power of audio – rather than visuals – in advertising. There is very little visual branding in the ad, but the nine different ways of referencing ‘Maccy D’s’ in just 60 seconds delivers exceptional fluency and makes the brand instantly familiar and recognisable.

The fluency rating is designed to indicate the strength of brand recognition in an ad, so this has nearly achieved top marks!

The campaign titled ‘Make It Yours’ forms part of a wider ‘Fancy a McDonalds’ platform and celebrates young adults aged between 16-24. A core theme behind the campaign is that life is not easy for the young adults of today but McDonalds are proud to provide a safe space for people to hang out and spend time together.

According to McDonalds Marketing Director Matt Reischauer:

This is especially true today, with an increased lack of provisions and spaces for our young people,” he says. “This campaign celebrates their wit, charm, and sometimes awkward realities and we are frankly honoured to be a place they choose to spend time together, where they can be themselves.

Image Credits:
Agency: Leo Burnett UK
CCO: Mark Elwood
ECDs: Andrew Long, James Millers
Creatives: Jas Nandoo, Georgette Fischer
Creative Director (Design): Dave Allen
Designer: Danny Flint
Production Company: Iconoclast
Edit House: Trim
VFX: Black Kite Studios
Audio Post-Production: Factory
Music Supervision: Sharpa

Hi, I'm Amy, Content Strategist at Canny. In my day-to-day role, I'm responsible for creating content that gets you noticed and makes you stand out from the competition. Naturally, I love writing and creating engaging copy that brings your brand to life.

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