McDonald’s Travis Scott partnership has been a runaway success. And, it is just the first of a number of celebrity partnerships the chain has planned.
“Travis is the first in a suite of big celebrities that resonate across segments and are true fans of our food and our brand,” McDonald’s US CMO Morgan Flatley said in an August memo obtained by Business Insider. “We can’t wait to share the rest of the lineup … in due time.”
Flatley told Business Insider in an interview in late August that McDonald’s began exploring a partnership with Scott over a year ago. When the chain was beginning to put together its celebrity campaign over the summer, discussions with Scott’s team began in earnest, according to Flatley.
“Travis is one of many big celebrities who really love our brand and love our food,” Flatley said. “And it’s just a great opportunity for us to really talk about that and celebrate that.”
Scott is the first celebrity’s name the chain has added to the menu since 1992, when McDonald’s partnered with Michael Jordan. McDonald’s declined to comment on its future celebrity partnerships at this point.
McDonald’s hinted that celebrities might play a larger role in future marketing campaigns earlier this year with its Super Bowl ad. The commercial shows the orders of celebrities Kim Kardashian West and Whoopi Goldberg, among others, and even fictional characters like Romeo and Juliet.
McDonald’s partnership with Scott is the chain’s first major marketing push since the pandemic began. The company pulled back on how much it was spending on marketing starting in March, as stay-at-home orders kept people from visiting restaurants.
As a result, McDonald’s now has a “sizeable marketing war chest” to spend in the second half of the year, CEO Chris Kempczinski said on a call with investors in July, including a $100 million investment in marketing in the US.
Coincidentally, the Scott partnership did not require McDonald’s to add any new items to the menu, as the meal only includes a Quarter Pounder, fries with BBQ sauce, and a Sprite. The Travis Scott Meal has sent burger sales soaring at the chain so far, with Quarter Pounder ingredients selling out at locations across the US.
Upcoming celebrity partnerships may utilize a similar strategy, with different stars’ favorite McDonald’s orders being marketing as “meals” — without requiring McDonald’s to roll out any new menu items.