Campaign details

Brand: McDonald’s China
Brand owner: McDonald’s
Lead agency: BBDO China
Country: China
Industries: Restaurants & takeaways
Media channels: Games & competitions, Online display, Online video, Point-of-purchase, in-store, Sales promotion, Social media, Television
Budget: 3 - 5 million

Executive summary

For Chinese people, Gaokao (China's national college entrance exam) is notoriously one of the most difficult and stressful moments in life.

While each year brands tend to target the 9.7 million current Gaokao students, McDonald's also talked to the 217 million past Gaokao examinees (a market 22 times larger) to enable them to re-live their Gaokao memories and provide much-needed empathy and support for Gaokao students.

Not only did this elicit precious goodwill for the McDonald's brand, it also increased sales for its hero Gaokao product by 428%.

Market background and objectives

China's Gaokao – A notoriously difficult exam, a big opportunity for brands (especially Western ones)