Ad Nut
Apr 15, 2016

Burgers without patties? McDonald's pursues curious strategy in HK

From Hong Kong: 'A burger without patty', for McDonald's by DDB Group Hong Kong

Burgers without patties? McDonald's pursues curious strategy in HK

Continuing a formula it introduced in Hong Kong last year, McDonald's has again brought in a young "celebrity" chef to carry out a live experience meant to change "Hong Kongers’ perception of what a McDonald’s burger looks like." 

The celebrity chef this time is Gabriel Choy, whom we're told is the first Asian winner of the College Scholarship organized by Hell’s Kitchen host Gordon Ramsay and has worked in several Michelin restaurants in the UK.

Choy "leveraged his food science background and passion for details to craft a pulled chicken burger, like you would only see in high-end burger joints". The brand then served up this sandwich in unbranded trucks in a few Hong Kong neighborhoods, resulting in the video above.

There's also a 20-second TVC running on local channels, plus social media and press ads.

Ad Nut has checked with a number of human aquaintances, and none can really remember seeing a pulled chicken burger in a "high-end burger joint". Also, none of the meat-eaters Ad Nut knows has been clamoring for a burger without a patty, which seems like an oxymoron ayway. But setting these issues aside for a moment, Ad Nut has bigger questions about the ongoing gourmet-surprise strategy. 

1) The people in the trucks apparently enjoyed food prepared by Choy himself. Will the sandwich in the restaurant reach the same quality level?

2) The sandwich will clearly be available in McDonald's locations for a limited time only. That means it will quickly become one in an endless string of special (and often strange) limited-time items. Even the burgers created last year by "renowned Mauritian-Hong Kong chef Christian Yang", which someone supposedly said were worth more than US$60, are no longer available. So the obvious question: Do these efforts create any kind of lasting impression or any lasting change in people's attitudes about McDonald's? Or do they make people feel like McDonald's is trying hard to convince them that it's changed but is not actually doing anything substantive?

3) How many people have even seen the video of the food-truck stunt? That one Ad Nut can answer: As of right now, the video has 2,966 views. Perhaps Ad Nut's devoted followers will push the total above 3,000!

Ad Nut can't help but compare the strategy in Hong Kong versus what Maccas (McDonald's Australia) is doing. The excellent video Ad Nut wrote about yesterday is part of an overall initiative called 'Create your taste', which offers a set of higher-quality, 'grown-up' ingredients and allows people to create custom sandwiches through a touchscreen in the store or by creating a QR code in advance.


Client: McDonald’s Hong Kong
Creative Agency: DDB Group Hong Kong
Chief Creative Officer & Managing Director: Carol Lam
VP Regional Director: Peter Rodenbeck
Head of Strategy & Innovation: Andreas Krasser
Group Creative Director: O’Poon
Creative Director: Paul Yu
Senior Art Director: Buzz Kwok
Senior Art Director: Joseph Lam
Art Director: Isaac Chiu
Copy Writer: Benjamin Chan
Head of Broadcast: Annie Tong
TV Producer: Vincent Wong
Business Director: Noel Yuen
Account Manager: Jenny Lai
Account Executive: Mini Chan
Media Agency: OMD Hong Kong
Business Director: Kat Chan
Senior Buying Manager: Eppie Tsang
Planning Manager: Tiffany Cheng
Senior Buyer: Verna Kwan
Media Buyer: Morris Lam
Digital Planner: Mabel Ho
Media Executive: Jack Lau
TVC Director: Maisy Choi – Suchfilms   


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