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McDonald's Word of the Day: QPC

Audience Honor in Restaurants, Other Platform, Innovative Media Buying Strategy

Entered in Food & Beverage


The McDonald’s Quarter Pounder with Cheese (QPC) is a large burger that has been beloved by generations of McDonald’s customers. While McDonald’s is the beef category leader despite omnipresent competition, the QPC was not feeling the love with young adults and multicultural diners. The QPC had challenges standing out in a crowded and competitive QSR market, and in particular, was challenged by brand perception in personal satisfaction, belief in quality, and taste amongst those demographics.

With these challenges and audiences in mind, McDonald’s engaged media partners, including GSTV, to leverage premium contexts to elevate the QPC in media, conversation, and culture. These media channels would persistently prompt consumers to try the QPC through high-impact, mass-reaching channels illustrating a craving for the QPC’s juicy, hot-off-the-grill quality.  Its QPC media campaign was designed to reach young adults with an emotional driver by “hitting them in the feels” and connecting with younger consumers through trends and culture, and ultimately drive in-store visitation.

The McDonald’s team sought to reach an A18-49 core audience with digital video via contextual and behavioral layering, and lean into immersive ad innovations to foster engagement. It also sought to show up in-language where consumers depended on it.

Strategy and Execution

To help execute the strategy and reach McDonald’s objectives, GSTV, the national digital video network engaging and entertaining viewers at fuel and convenience retailers across the country, partnered with the McDonald’s team to reach a national audience of burger lovers at scale during an uninterrupted moment during their day – while they are fueling up - with content featuring up-close, delicious, juicy QPC burgers. On the days that consumers fuel up, they are +5.3x more likely to visit a QSR in the three hours post-fuel up, making GSTV an ideal environment to capture consumers on their way to consume and transact following fueling-up their vehicles.* 

Through this partnership, the brand was able to maximize scale in an environment made for visual storytelling with a captive and attentive audience. McDonald’s :15s “Elevate the Mess” QPC spot creative from Wieden+Kennedy depicting a delectable burger that filled the screen matched GSTV’s recommended best creative practices to feature the product front and center for its viewers.

GSTV took this campaign one step further, leaning into the idea that calling the burger by its QPC acronym and shortened name could help the brand’s goal of connecting with younger audiences. GSTV’s in-house studio, Ignite, developed a tag to follow the McDonald’s QPC spot that called out “delicious is as easy as Q.P.C. Quarter Pounder With Cheese” – emphasizing the acronym, “Q.P.C.”  

To further engage GSTV viewers, QPC related acronyms were integrated into a special edition of one of GSTV’s most popular content segments, “Word of the Day.” For the QPC campaign, Word of the Day was transformed into “Word of the Day – Acronym Edition” that featured QPC related acronyms and related sentences to surprise and delight the audience. Acronyms included: QPC (Quarter Pounder with Cheese); OMG (Oh My Goodness); DQPC (Double Quarter Pounder With Cheese); and QPC&B (Quarter Pounder with Cheese and Bacon). Seeing these fun acronyms integrated into the GSTV content experience created a memorable experience for viewers and reinforced the idea of an updated and culturally fresh QPC in viewers’ minds.

Finally, to help McDonald’s with its goal of showing up in-language, the spots were created and played in Spanish leveraging GSTV’s Hispanic network that plays culturally relevant and in-language content in markets that skew heavily with Hispanic and Spanish language consumers.

*Source: Affinity Solutions, analysis of debt and credit card activity within 3 hours of post-fueling (vs. those not fueling up that day), 2021.



Delicious Results: Overall, the campaign reached 61MM Americans on GSTV with a 1:1 viewing engagement during the key hours of noon-5pm while they are considering their next meal.

Through a foot traffic lift study in partnership with Foursquare, it was found that the custom QPC content on GSTV helped drive significant lifts in visitation to McDonald’s restaurants and incremental store visits! GSTV campaign viewers were tracked post-exposure for visitation to the advertised restaurant, and the conversion rate was compared to a matched control to assess lift.


Video for McDonald's Word of the Day: QPC

Entrant Company / Organization Name

GSTV, McDonald's, Publicis One, Wieden+Kennedy

Entry Credits