Will the Travis Scott Meal deal lead to more celebrity collabs?
McDonald’s has scored a breakout hit with a limited-edition collaboration with rapper and record producer Travis Scott. Much like those by sneaker brands and fashion houses, the partnership aims at helping the fast-food chain better connect with Millennial and Gen-Z customers.
Introduced Sept. 9, the Travis Scott Meal features a Quarter Pounder, fries with BBQ sauce and a Sprite for $6. The initial rollout of the month-long partnership also included a merchandise capsule, McDonald’s crew apparel and a commercial.
By Sept. 16, McDonald’s was experiencing ingredient shortages thanks to the combo’s popularity as well as merchandise sell-outs. The company is promising additional “drops.”
The partnership marked McDonald’s first celebrity meal since Michael Jordan’s “McJordan” in 1992. A leaked memo attained by Business Insider indicates others are in the works.
“Travis is the first in a suite of big celebrities that resonate across segments and are true fans of our food and our brand,” wrote Morgan Flatley, SVP and McDonald’s U.S. chief marketing and digital customer experience officer. She described Mr. Scott as “the definition of big in culture” while adding his inclusion “will resonate and spark excitement with our youthful multicultural customers, and has a few surprises to delight our crew and ensure they are part of the excitement.”
— TRAVIS SCOTT (@trvisXX) September 3, 2020
Also known as Cactus Jack, the Grammy Award-nominee had already scored successful collaborations with Nike, Epic Games’ Fortnite, Reese’s Puffs and Hot Wheels. For Mr. Scott, the partnership can expand his “brand” to a larger audience.
McDonald’s can tap into Mr. Scott’s youth appeal and benefits without having to come up with any new menu items to support the promotion.
Dunkin’ has also recently partnered with TikTok influencer Charli D’Amelio on her own drink, but some are wondering to what degree other celebrity alliances around food will prove effective.
Wrote Jon Caramanica for The New York Times, “Part of why the Scott/McDonald’s alliance feels different is because of the intimacy of food — it’s one thing to attach a celebrity to a luxury item, but to attach one to a commodity product is a far bolder statement.”
- Travis Scott & McDonald’s Highly Anticipated Partnership Launches – McDonald’s
- McDonald’s and Iconic Global Artist Travis Scott Embark on an Unprecedented Collaborative Partnership Across Food, Fashion and Community Efforts, Launching with his Signature Order on Menus Across the U.S. – McDonald’s
- McDonald’s Travis Scott promotion is so popular, it’s causing Quarter Pounder shortages – CNBC
- McDonald’s has more celebrity partnerships in the works, as the Travis Scott collab sends burger sales soaring – Business Insider
- Travis Scott Meets McDonald’s (It’s Lit!) – The New York Times
- McDonald’s Adds Travis Scott To Its Menu As Part Of Month-Long Partnership – Advertising Age
- Can Kanye West make Gap cool again? – RetailWire
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What do you think of the opportunity for rappers and other celebrity limited-edition collaborations in the QSR space? Do you see such collaborations having a similar impact in fashion and other retailing verticals?