The McDonald’s marketing scheme


Ren Lloyd

From the McJordan to the J Balvin Meal, McDonald’s continues to collaborate with various celebrities to increase sales. Statistics prove that this strategy works every time. These collaborations both promote the artist and raise revenue for McDonald’s.

Ren Lloyd, Reporter

In recent years, McDonald’s used collaborations with various celebrities to gain popularity with consumers. It gradually turned into a huge marketing scheme for the popular fast-food chain when artists such as Travis Scott, J Balvin, BTS, and Saweetie contributed to this marketing scheme. 

McDonald’s sales increased substantially thanks to their celebrity collaborations. McDonald’s utilized a previous tactic to increase revenue and it seems to work exactly the same as before. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, sales dramatically decreased. According to CNN, McDonald’s revenue fell 2% due to quarantine and the net income fell 12% to $1.4 billion. However, the collaborations allowed the fast food chain to bounce back. If McDonald’s continues to use this tactic, they can expect successful sales in the future.  

In 1992, McDonald’s collaborated with the basketball superstar Michael Jordan to create the McJordan meal. Jordan’s favorite McDonald’s meal consisted of a quarter pounder with bacon and barbecue sauce paired with fries and a soda. Jordan earned $9,995 from this collaboration. 

Then, 28 years later, the Travis Scott meal launched on September 8, 2020. Similar to the McJordan meal, his meal included a quarter pounder with cheese, bacon, slivered onions, and shredded lettuce paired with fries, barbecue sauce, and a Sprite, creating the perfect meal for both Scott and McDonald’s fans. Scott earned 20 million dollars from his deal with McDonald’s and boosted sales for them as well. Their sales have increased by 4.6% which offset their 8.7% decline during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

On November 1, 2020, the Latin pop singer J Balvin, released his signature meal in all US McDonald’s locations. His simple meal included a Big Mac and fries paired with a sweet Oreo McFlurry for a whopping 20 dollars. As an added perk, consumers who ordered the meal online received a free Oreo McFlurry with their purchase. 

McDonald’s released the BTS meal to all locations in 50 countries on May 26, 2021. This meal, created by the popular K-pop group, BTS, consisted of a ten-piece McNugget, medium fries, and a coke. This meal also included a limited-time Cajun Sauce and Sweet Chili Sauce inspired by South Korea’s McDonald’s locations. BTS earned $8.89 million dollars from their global partnership with McDonald’s and the fast-food chain earned $7.32 million at the beginning of the collaboration. During the collaboration, the number of McDonald’s customers grew 12% and McNugget sales increased 250%.

The Saweetie meal, which launched recently on August 9, quickly became a popular purchase at participating McDonald’s locations. The Saweetie meal, based on the famous rapper Saweetie’s go-to meal, includes a Big Mac, a four-piece McNugget, a medium fry, and a Sprite. This meal also featured a Tangy Barbecue sauce along with a limited edition Saweetie N’ Sour sauce. Saweetie marketed this meal by letting consumers know how she mixes up her favorite order, eventually collaborating with McDonald’s to create a Saweetie meal merch for fans. 

“From the business perspective, I think that it’s great that McDonald’s is trying to market to younger people. Before when McDonald’s tried to market to younger people they used hip hop songs in their commercials. Now they are trying to get celebrities to back their business. The more popular the celebrity, the more followers they have and the more followers they have the more people will be inclined to buy from McDonald’s. I think for the most part they’ve been successful but I don’t like how they seem to be turning people into tokens to make money and that’s really the downfall of it,” said magnet Senior Jerrica Arnett. 

From the McJordan to the Saweetie Meal, McDonald’s and celebrities create the perfect money-making pair. If McDonald’s continues this successful marketing strategy, it will keep its title as the largest fast-food chain in the world. It seems that McDonald’s found its key marketing strategy and the world awaits its next partnership.