Celebrity Marketing In 2020: McDonalds, Travis Scott Raise The Bar » Dolo Digital Blog

Celebrity Marketing in 2020: McDonalds, Travis Scott Raise the Bar

Time and time again, Travis Scott has proven himself to be brilliant at marketing himself and his brand. After his latest partnership with McDonalds, it's undeniable.

COVID's Message to Businesses: Adapt, or Else

2020 has been an unusual year – to say the least. Amid a pandemic and an ever-changing landscape of safety precautions, businesses have been forced to think on their feet and adapt to survive. Restaurants have been hit especially hard given the nature of their business, with 100,000 of them expected to close by year’s end according to the National Restaurant Association.

Amidst it all, McDonalds found a way to persevere.

On September 9th, McDonalds announced a collaboration with the 29 year old hip hop superstar, Travis Scott. The collaboration featured a limited time “Travis Scott Meal”, TV commercial, employee apparel, and merchandise (don’t even get us started on the $90 McNugget body pillow). All of this coincided with McDonalds structural changes that focused on speeding up its drive through operations to handle the surge in traffic and compensate for limited dine-in capabilities.

The "Travis Scott Effect"

To say that the promotion was successful would be an understatement. Travis Scott galvanized his 34 million Instagram and nearly 10 million Twitter followers to swarm the nearest Golden Arches and try the limited-time meal. So much so, McDonalds had trouble keeping with the demand. McDonalds released a statement saying, “[McCringe warning…] It’s been so lit, some of our restaurants have temporarily sold out of some of the ingredients in the meal. We’re working closely with our suppliers, distributors, and franchisees to resupply impacted restaurants as quickly as possible.”

The line of merchandise was equally successful. In the past, Travis Scott has sold limited-quantity products that become collectibles and quickly hit the re-sale market. His fans recognized this early on, buying up his McDonalds merchandise and attempting to flip it on websites like eBay for 5-20x its original value.

The Best is Yet to Come?

McDonald’s corporate team knew that they had struck gold, not only increasing their sales during COVID but also boosting their brand reputation with Traivs Scott’s younger audience. Since the original campaign ended, McDonalds has already started a new one with international reggaeton artist J. Balvin. While not as explosive as the Travis Scott promotion, it has still been successful by any metric. As other fast food giants take note, one thing is certain, collaborations like these are here to stay for the foreseeable future.

We can only hope that healthier food will be included. 

Ryan Laffler

Ryan Laffler

Chief Marketing Officer

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