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McDonald's Embraces Gen Z Aesthetic to Push its Coffee

McCafé Gulf campaign looks to refresh perceptions

Rebecca Stewart | March 10, 2022 | Adweek

For years, armed with Starbucks Pumpkin Spice Lattes, millennials have defined trends in coffee culture. However, Gen Z’s influence on the humble cup of Joe is growing.

That’s why McDonald’s is targeting the younger generation in its latest work for McCafé in the Gulf. Created by the brand’s dedicated Publicis Group agency, Studio M, McDonald’s new “For Every Beat of the Day” campaign looks to encapsulate “energy and pulse” of the young generation. McDonald’s said the push is based on its insight that young coffee drinkers feel “invincible” when armed with a paper cup in hand. The work explores real moments in the 24-hour coffee culture we live in and it will run across TV and digital. Directed by Ida Cuellar and produced by Prodigious, the TV ad captures authentic moments in multiple locations across the region. It’s a marriage of high exposure pictures and film with a multi-format approach, designed to reflect the joy of a fresh brew and “unexpected pleasures and surprises that punctuate life.” All this is steered by a drum track created to mirror people’s body clocks and how they “tick throughout the day” from morning to noon and night.

Tarek El-Kady, senior director of marketing at McDonald’s for the Middle East and Africa, said: “Our customers’ expectations and coffee drinking habits are changing—we recognised that Gen Z in particular need a good cup of coffee that matches their on-the-go lifestyle.” “Working alongside our long-term partners, Studio M, we are proud to present a fresh perspective and a new brand platform to the youth.” The bold pitch to Gen Z to switch up their coffee habits and head into their nearest McDonald’s for a low-price hot drink comes as fresh research reveals that just 8% of the demographic believe brands actually understand them. Coffee talk McDonald’s is increasingly investing in its McCafé proposition to drive sales. In its most recent annual report the fast-food giant said markets globally were planning to “leverage the McCafe brand, experience, value and quality to drive long-term growth”. The brand recently updated its McCafé Rewards Card to a digital wallet in the McDonald’s app and also invested in a U.K campaign to promote its coffee bean credentials. Last year, the fast-food chain’s revenues topped $23.2 billion, a 21 percent jump from 2019 and the highest level since reaching $24.6 billion in 2016. Profit soared 59 percent from a year earlier to $7.5 billion.

Earlier this week, McDonald’s temporarily ceased trading in its 847 locations in Russia amid wider calls for brands to cease operations and business with the country over its invasion of Ukraine.

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