McDonald’s Sponsored a Snapchat Bitmoji That Steals Your Coffee in Augmented Reality

When it comes to Snapchat users messing around with their bitmojis, McDonald’s is hoping they’re loving it.

McDonald and Snap have partnered for the platform’s first sponsored bitmoji. The augmented reality feature, which rolls out today, aims to promote its McCafe products and lets users have their 3D Bitmoji steal a coffee cup from them. In an almost elfish manner, the character mischievously runs around the cup before running off the screen—McCafe and all.

mcdonald's snapchat bitmoji adweek screenchow

The feature was created with We Are Unlimited—a Chicago-based agency that runs McDonald’s social, digital, retail and data marketing in the U.S.—along with Resolution Media and OMD. According to We Are Unlimited chief creative officer Toygar Bazarkaya, the campaign is part of McDonald’s plan to get more involved with holiday marketing than in the past.

“It’s just a playful take that even your avatar behaves like you,” Bazarkaya said. “You have to have your coffee first before you go about your business.”

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Even With 6-Second Ads on the Rise, Brands like Heinz, KFC and Taco Bell are Creating Animated Films to Try and Stand Out

Just as animated TV shows for adults (think cult favorite Rick and Morty or Netflix’s Big Mouth) are having a moment, animated films for brands are hitting their own stride. Tech brands like Lyft and Hinge have used the medium in recent years and over the last few months a new wave of marketers—Heinz Beans, KFC and Taco Bell—have rolled out animated spots.

The timing may seem strange in an era when attention spans are low and six-second ads are on the rise, but brand marketers are hungry to connect with consumers and animation can be the outlet to make it happen. Overall, brands are finding that animation can cut through the clutter and really strike that emotional chord with viewers online.

“The long-form, animated spot is definitely back on stage,” Howard Belk, co-CEO and CCO for brand consultancy Siegel+Gale, said. “Advertisers are competing for engagement not only with other products, but with social media content. People are much more accustomed and comfortable now with watching vignettes on their phones—they have been conditioned by Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat and other platforms. Savvy advertisers are taking advantage of consumers’ willingness to spend more time consuming content on these platforms.”

Matt Murphy, 72andSunny executive creative director and partner, believes animation is on the rise because it “can be an escape,” he said, adding, “It has the ability to make a bigger, bolder creative leap in terms of storytelling for any brand that wants to embrace it as a tool.”

In April, 72andSunny created a nearly two-minute animated film for toothpaste brand Hello featuring an anthropomorphic dancing tooth cheerily promoting the natural ingredients used in Hello products. Since its release, the spot has scored over 1.6 million views on YouTube alone. “If we just put an actor in front of the camera to talk to you for 90 seconds about toothpaste, I don’t think it would have worked as well as having an animated tooth,” said Murphy.

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How Ocean Spray’s Canned Cranberry Sauce Found Its Way Onto So Many Holiday Tables

Last year around this time, legendary chef Jacques Pépin dropped by the Rachael Ray TV show to help prepare some traditional holiday fare. “Thanksgiving is the biggest holiday for me,” the courtly Pépin said in his untamed French accent. Then a hint of frustration crept into Pépin’s voice as he admitted that, even though he makes a sumptuous cranberry relish from scratch, “my wife wants this.

ocean spray cranberry sauce screenchow

He was pointing to a can of cranberry sauce.

It is the culinary enigma of the winter holidays. Though this is arguably the one time of year when home cooks go the extra mile in the kitchen—turning out toilsome turkeys, picture-perfect pies and all variety of side dishes made from scratch—cranberry sauce from the can not only gets a pass, it usually gets a prominent place on the table, where it sways and waggles in all of its can-shaped splendor.

getty images: ocean spray adweek

Got sauce? After cranberry sauce was served to Union troops in the Civil War (left), demand for the food grew until Marcus Urann (inset) began selling his Ocean Spray strained cranberry sauce in cans (above). Though it’s hardly necessary to get Americans to like cranberry sauce, Ocean Spray does try to educate the public about how cranberries are grown with this portable bog (far left) that travels around the country during the holidays.
Bog: NY Daily News via Getty Images; Archival: Courtesy of Ocean Spray; Civil War: Getty Images


Why Chobani Is Reinventing Itself—and Why It Had No Choice

Head to the yogurt aisle of most any grocery store, and you’re bound to see some variation of the standard trade dress: A white plastic cup with a foil top. Most all of those cups will feature a photo of a piece of fruit, the colors bumped up to psychedelic vividness: a brazenly blue blueberry, a riotously red strawberry, and so on. Most of those cups will be priced about the same and, chances are, they’ll feature the same buzzwords, too, including “natural” and “creamy.”


In fact, few foods on the shelf today exhibit the sheer sameness of yogurt. And that has Peter McGuinness pretty whipped up. “It makes it confusing,” he says. “There are too many SKUs and too much similarity.”

McGuinness is in a position to know. As the chief marketing and commercial officer of Chobani, he helms a brand that has both revolutionized and terrorized the yogurt category over the last decade by pushing Greek yogurt from a mere 1 percent of the segment to roughly half of it. But Chobani’s leadership has come at a price: “Virtually everybody’s copied us,” McGuinness says. “I’m not here to pick on the competition, but it’s not been good for the category.”

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