The McDonald's Case Study

The Problem: As a food and beverages company, McDonald’s had always faced losses during the month of Ramadan in Saudi Arabia. Promoting their products during this time was difficult because that would tempt people who were fasting. It would also show a lack of respect, which is detrimental to any global brand.

The Challenge: McDonald’s needed a solution that would allow them to advertise their products and increase sales while also showing sensitivity and reverence towards the holy month.

The Insight: We understood that while people observing their fast dislike seeing images of food, they would appreciate a glimpse of the promise of food – a promise that would be fulfilled after their fasting period. This would keep them interested in the brand while also revealing McDonald’s respect for their religious practises.

The Solution: With this in mind, we devised a strategy where McDonald’s digital OOH advertisement occurred without really showing images of food and beverages during the day. Everything was to be intelligently hidden in plain sight. Images of McDonald’s products on digital billboards and MUPIs were silhouetted, pixelated or represented through attractive calligraphy. Then, after the Iftar in the evening (when the fast is broken), these images were revealed openly, fulfilling the promise that was only indicated earlier.

The Results: This campaign was a huge success, with people across the KSA praising McDonald’s on their innovation, consideration and intelligence. Instead of the usual losses, sales began to rise every year, with a 10% increase in 2016, a 7% increase in 2017, and another 10% increase in 2018. This proves how Wave Media’s astute market insights and ingenious solutions can help brands overcome seemingly impossible obstacles, leading them to success.