Factor Engagement

McDonald’s best-selling strategy: emotional marketing cases

It has been proven that human beings are more emotional than rational, so the goal of big brands is to connect emotionally with users in order to generate sales.


Through emotional marketing, it is possible to mobilize people through feelings or emotions, so that they perform a certain action, whether it is a purchase, registration or other. 


One of the most recognized companies for its emotional marketing strategies is the McDonald’s restaurant line, which has positioned itself in the hearts of the American population and the rest of the world.



Emotional marketing campaigns by McDonald’s

Currently, McDonald’s is known as the leader when it comes to emotional marketing and connecting with users. This is because, during the last few years, they have implemented campaigns focused on the emotions of their loyal audience. Some of these are:


  • You can count on me.


This advertising campaign, launched in 2013, was a tribute to all fathers for their special day. The ad has an extended version of 2 minutes, where they seek to convey special moments in people’s lives and how the brand is present in those moments.


In the video, the song “Count on me” by Bruno Mars can be heard, which makes the ad even more emotional. 




Certainly, highlighting the importance of family and those unique moments that are not repeated is a very effective strategy, especially when it comes to a brand that sells fast food.



  • Signs.


Signs is the advertising campaign that McDonald ‘s presented at the 2015 Golden Globes. In the campaign commercial, it features photos of billboards, where the brand displays various messages of support for the American population.


Phrases such as, “Boston strong”, “Thank you veterans”, “We remember 9/11”, “We’ll be back soon”, captivated more than one American citizen. 


The context of the commercial was described on the company’s Tumblr account, where they explain how behind each phrase and story, they seek to convey a message from the heart.


  • Emotional branding: Arch Enemies.


In 2015, McDonald ‘s presents the advertising campaign “Arch Enemies”, with animated characters such as Mario Bros, the ghost and Pacman, Batman and the Joker, the Smurfs and some other classics.


The objective of this emotional marketing strategy was to attract the attention of children, from the influence of animated characters. But also teenagers and adults, by evoking a feeling of nostalgia and tenderness.




  • It’s time to meet again.


In this marketing campaign, McDonald’s sought to inform, honor and support all family members who were separated due to the Covid-19 pandemic.


The advertising strategy consisted of 3 videos, well focused on its target, where it is possible to see the figures of a grandfather, daughter and friend, figures with which anyone could feel identified.


With this emotional marketing strategy, McDonald’s reopened its doors to the public, creating a space that complied with all the respective health measures.


  • Happy Meal for adults.


As of October 3, 2022, the restaurant chain announced its new promotion of a Happy Meal for adults, with limited edition toys, which has caused its sales to explode.


The product is in a box, to evoke feelings of nostalgia for those happy boxes of yesteryear, including limited edition toys, generating even more excitement.


A message of hope or an emotional marketing strategy?


“Crisis is also an opportunity” and McDonald’s marketing strategies have proven it. Over the years, it is possible to see how in good times and bad, every McDonald’s ad carries a message that seeks to captivate, motivate and shake people’s hearts.


However, this has caused the brand to be judged and criticized on more than one occasion for “taking advantage” of certain circumstances. But really, their goal is also to convey support and show that they are in the hearts of their customers.


Being one of the most consumed brands on the planet, they decide to focus on small communities, so that it can be noticed that they are committed, and in addition to hamburgers, they also share life stories.


On Key

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