McDonald's Adds Reggaeton Star J Balvin to Menu of Collaborators
By Allison Prang and Heather Haddon
McDonald's Corp. is adding a marketing deal with reggaeton
artist J Balvin after a buzzy collaboration with rapper Travis
Scott, aiming to add younger diners to its clientele.
The burger giant said a meal bearing J Balvin's name -- a Big
Mac, fries and ketchup and an Oreo McFlurry -- would be on sale
from Monday through Nov. 1. The collaboration with Mr. Scott -- the
meal was a Quarter Pounder with cheese, lettuce and bacon, fries
with barbecue sauce and a Sprite -- -ended on Sunday.
McDonald's said the partnerships mark the first times in almost
three decades that it put a celebrity's name on its menu. The last
celebrity to be featured was basketball icon Michael Jordan, who
lent his name to a McJordan meal in 1992.
More recently, McDonald's and other big fast-food brands have
struggled to tap into the zeitgeist. McDonald's U.S. guest counts
fell in the last two years. Less than 4% of McDonald's U.S.
consumers in the last year were members of Generation Z, or born
after 1995, according to consumer research firm Numerator.
Morgan Flatley, McDonald's U.S. chief marketing officer, said
that the partnerships are helping the company stay relevant with
younger customers. Ms. Flatley said sales for the Travis Scott meal
exceeded expectations but declined to discuss specifics. She said
restaurants in some parts of the U.S. ran short on ingredients for
Quarter Pounders after the sandwich went on sale.
McDonald's said it tapped a $100 million marketing fund
earmarked to help U.S. chains recover from the coronavirus pandemic
to help pay for the promotion. It spent an estimated $4 million on
a Travis Scott ad that ran for 10 days on prime-time television,
according to analytics firm iSpot.tv. Franchisees said they
received a $2 rebate on the cost of the meal to support the
promotion. It was priced at about $6, compared with a $9 total cost
for each item sold individually.
J Balvin, the Colombian singer of tracks including "Mi Gente"
whose real name is José Alvaro Osorio Balvin, is a major crossover
star. He has more than 44.1 million followers on Instagram and
roughly 16.3 billion views on YouTube. In February, he joined
actress and music star Jennifer Lopez onstage during the Super Bowl
Restaurant crews will also get T-shirts designed by Mr. Osorio
Write to Allison Prang at email@example.com and Heather
Haddon at firstname.lastname@example.org
(END) Dow Jones Newswires
October 05, 2020 15:46 ET (19:46 GMT)
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