McDonald's McSpicy: Selling spice in the land of spices

Kanika Gupta, Aditi Patwardhan and Gaurav Soni

Campaign details

Brand owner: McDonald's
Brand: McDonald's McSpicy range
Agency: Leo Burnett (Mumbai)
Country: India
Channels used: Outdoor, out-of-home, Point-of-purchase, in-store media, Television
Media budget: 3 - 5 million

Executive summary

McDonald's was launching its iconic international McSpicy range in India. But how could it get its customers to pay Rs. 80 for this premium product when they could have four of their beloved value burgers (McAloo Tikki) for the same price instead? Moreover, how could they hope to sell a spicy product when consumers had for ever associated McDonald's with bland cuisine?

To sell a spicy product in the land of spices, the agency tapped into the insight that spice is subjective, meaning that for any one spicy proposition there would be a hundred different reactions. Because of the amount of spice Indians typically use in their cooking, every Indian is a de facto 'spice expert' and each one would have their own perspective of how spicy the McSpicy really is.