Fried Chicken Dropped From Heaven

This is a story about how McDonald’s used fried chicken to connect with consumers amidst an avalanche of “we are here for you” rhetoric during COVID-19 lockdowns.

We discovered via social listening that after locking themselves at home for months, consumers had pent-up demand for the unremarkable fried chicken. And responded by turning Weibo into a “wish-granting factory” for McDonald’s fried chicken. The moment a consumer posts with “fried chicken” on Weibo, McDonald’s account will comment and distribute free fried chicken coupon, leading the consumer to redeem on its WeChat mini app.

This 1-day campaign made fried chicken a catalyst of joy for millions consumers, which led to an increase by 199% of coupons received and 37% of in-store sales. More importantly, this campaign showed that filling people’s need for fried chicken was as noble as any brand purpose in trying times.