Kid ranchers talk sustainability in new McDonald’s campaign

Who: McDonald’s Canada, with Cossette for creative, Skin & Bones for production, Saints Editorial and Grayson for post-production, and OMD for media.

What: A new ad campaign about McDonald’s commitment to beef sustainability that also introduces a more sustainably sourced Quarter Pounder.

When & Where: The campaign launched today (Dec. 1) on TV and online video, with social, influencer and sponsored content.

Why: In September McDonald’s introduced a “sustainably sourced” Quarter Pounder consisting of at least 30% beef certified by the Canadian Roundtable for Sustainable Beef. That move was just the latest step in the company’s efforts to meet growing consumer demand for healthier food systems, and to feel good about the food they eat.

“As one of the largest supporters of the Canadian beef industry, McDonald’s is committed to helping advance sustainable beef production in Canada. Our longstanding partnerships with Canadian farmers and ranchers are a vital part of that commitment,” said Jean-Guillaume Bertola, director, national marketing, McDonald’s Canada.

How: The anchor video ad puts a human face (so to speak) on beef ranching—connecting the food served at McDonald’s to the people who produce it. Similar to another Canadian campaign by a rival burger QSR, the creative presents an idyllic portrait of where burger beef comes from, featuring farmers who care about the health of their livestock and the environment.

The McDonald’s ad plays like a short film about sustainable ranching, told by kids of who have grown up on multi-generational farms. There’s minimal branding, with no store or burger shots anywhere in the ad. Instead, the kids talk about life on the ranch, and what sustainability means to them: treating animals with respect, looking after the ecosystem, creating food that is healthier for people and the environment. It closes with a super of the golden arches and the line: “Proud to offer our Quarter Pounder with sustainable beef sourcing.”

“Canadians care about sustainability but it’s such a broad concept. We wanted to create a platform that zeroed in on the legacy-building impact of McDonald’s commitment,” said Alexandre Gadoua, group creative director, McDonald’s at Cossette. “Passing the mic to the next generation of Canadian beef ranchers added an extra layer of magic—the kids had an infectious energy on set and are truly dedicated to what they do.”

And we quote: “In 2018, we introduced Canadians to McDonald’s commitment to beef sustainability; joining forces with our industry partners and Canadian beef farmers and ranchers to implement leading ranching practices. Our 2020 campaign builds on that story, through the lens of the future generation of Canadian beef farmers and ranchers, demonstrating the importance of sustainable beef production.” — Jean-Guillaume Bertola, director, national marketing, McDonald’s Canada

David Brown