This campaign for McDonalds was developed by Leo Burnett in Sydney and features fictitious burger naming legend Ken Thomas, who, having retired from the ranks of McDonalds, wants to hand the burger-naming baton on to a younger generation.

Tony Bonner, of Skippy fame, donated a lifetimes worth of photos in order to create the fictional Ken Thomas character a high-flying playboy famous for naming some of McDonalds most iconic burgers the Cheeseburger and the McChicken.

Having 3 cartons of photos dumped on my desk, I set about creating montage sequences depicting Ken Thomas history and exploits. These animated collages included fictional news articles and magazine spreads detailing his genius. In some cases real articles were photoshopped, in others Ken was inserted into completely fictional spreads, and photoshopped to shake hands with Ronald or hold aloft a golden burger.
Three sequences were created for three TVCs features the Cheeseburger, Double Cheesburger, and McChicken.

The creation of a believable Ken Thomas identity, revealed through the montages of edited photos and fictional news stories, made a direct connection with the Australian public.

As a result, the campaign was McDonalds most successful online engagement campaign ever. The competition to name the new burger received 24,100 suggestions in the first few days of launch. Nearly 250,000 people visited the microsite (no longer online) with 85% submitting a burger name. And even though the promotion was only open to the Australian public, the site had visitors from 148 countries/territories worldwide (there are only 194 countries in the world). In all, McDonalds sold over 4.2 million burgers during the campaign.

3 years later, I am proud to say that Tony Bonner has linked back to the TVCs on his Facebook account.

Awards:

Gold Award: Established Product Brand APG Creative Planning Awards, 2008
Showcased on A Current Affair, interview with our own Ken Thomas about his experience with the commercial.
Gold APMA 2008 Best activity generating brand awareness and trial
Shortlisted for the Cannes 2008 Direct Marketing Shortlist

Credits:

Director: Justin Kurzel
Agency: Leo Burnett Sydney
Pitch/Design/Animation/Compositing: Scott Geersen
Additional Animation and Compositing: Dean Reichichi (McChicken)
Additional Mattepainting: Kurtis Richmond

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