CASE STUDY: Tribal DDB Shanghai and McDonald's turn China chicken wing crazy

McDonald's in China set out to prove its chicken wings were every bit as good as the competition's. With the help of Tribal DDB Shanghai, the fast food giant launched a multi-faceted campaign that exceeded expectations in every respect.


Simple - when prompted most people did not associate chicken wings with McDonald’s. But through research and testing it turned out people actually loved the taste of McDonald’s chicken wings, even more than those from competitors. The challenge was to break the status quo and bring McWings to the top of people’s minds.

But as we all know “old habits die hard” so something outstanding and big was needed to break the mould. The campaign gave everyone a chance to try out McWings. In a country with a big love of coupons and an even bigger love of snacking, anyone with a chicken wing coupon from any restaurant was invited to use it at McDonald’s for discounted McWings. Yes, you read correctly, from any restaurant. The campaign was announced through banner ads on major social networking sites and seeded viral videos. People went onto bulletin boards to ask if it was actually true. Even television picked up the story with CCTV doing a report about it.


The campaign pledged that if one million people signed up to the ‘Love McWings’ campaign then McDonald’s would give out free wings for seven days across China.

The digital campaign included five viral videos, which people could send to friends highlighting the crazy coupon exchange.

Through online word of mouth the campaign gathered massive momentum; crowds even had to be restricted at certain McDonald’s stores around the country. People around the country were meeting online and encouraging each other to put their coupons together.

Jit Hoong Ng, managing director at Tribal DDB Shanghai, said: “Digital interaction was crucial in tapping into online communities here. The campaign developed like a swarm, effectively gathering momentum and popularity due to people chatting about it online."


This was one of this year’s most buzzed about campaigns. In just four weeks more than two million people pledged their ‘love’ for McDonald’s McSpicy Wings - that was 200 per cent more that the objective and translated into a 10 per cent sales rise in chicken wings. There were more than 500 mentions in press, online, in print and on television, worth over Rmb5 million.

There were over three million videos viewed, and 180,000 people forwarded them on to friends. In just seven days, more than 10,000 wings were given out at the new McWing restaurants.


Chief creative officer: Michael Dee
Creative director: William Chang/Kevin Chiu
Copywriter: Jackie Wang
Art director: Mac Chen/ Jay Hsu
Account service: Louise Wu/Flora Zhang

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The Campaign Asia-Pacific Team