January 23, 2022

Digital Marketing Education

Latest news and events

What McDonald’s sees when it looks at gamers

When McDonald’s participates in a “Friendsgaming” event with esports organization Faze Clan this weekend, it hopes to be reintroduced to an audience it may have last seen ordering Happy Meals and climbing through plastic tubes in the Playplace. These same consumers still crave McDonald’s food and remain anxious to gather and play—only the menu and venue have evolved. “Friendsgaming,” which begins Saturday with a live Twitch stream on FaZe Swagg’s channel, includes the sale of custom gaming gear and a DoorDash delivery code allowing gamers to fuel up on McDonald’s food for the event.

Elizabeth Campbell, senior director of marketing and cultural engagement at McDonald’s, in a recent interview discussed how the burger giant is meeting its audience “where they are,” and the value of a media partnership with the influential and culturally diverse gaming group Faze Clan. The following has been edited for clarity. 

Register for Ad Age Next: CMO at AdAge.com/NextCMO.

How does McDonald’s approach gaming from a big-picture perspective?

What we want is an opportunity to engage with consumers, and meet them where they are. What that means is, as we look at gaming holistically, we are looking to see how we can tap into consumers and be associated with McDonald’s in a way that’s unique for them.

We looked at in terms of how do we combine our food—that gamers have told us they want to eat—while partnering with one of the biggest media vendors in Faze Clan.

But we’re not looking to do a logo, or a sponsor badge. We really want to be integrated with them and get to know who their gamers are, understand what they are about, and also, make sure it’s authentic, the way we are engaging with consumers today, and in the long term. We see Faze Clan being a diversely owned media company, and the gamers represent the communities in which they operate. That’s critical for us because it matches what McDonald’s’ values are and what we’re looking to engage.

How big a group are you tapping into here?

It’s something over 31 million users. What we’re looking to tap into is not just the consumers who are gaming, but the kids who are saying ‘I want to be a gamer.’ Or ‘I want to develop the next gaming platform.’ Associated with this as well is inspiring kids and the minds of the future generation to build the next innovations.

In addition, we want to look at the diversity of it, in terms of who they are appealing to, because they are demonstrating how the world is changing today. Their customer base matches McDonald’s.