Cindy Fang Overview In May of 2021, McDonald's announced on Twitter, Facebook, and other media platforms their collaboration with Bulletproof Boyscouts, more commonly referred to as BTS. With seven members in total, BTS is extremely successful and currently stands as the most popular boy band in South Korea. They have millions of international fans, and the announced BTS meal was a set meal consisted of 10-piece chicken McNuggets, medium fries, a coke and two new limited-time sauces. This campaign launched in almost fifty countries including United States, Canada, and Brazil (Valinsky, 2021). It was announced that BTS will be releasing a limited-edition clothing line featuring McDonald's logos and illustrations (Nuyen, 2021). Campaign Tactics In 2020, McDonald's began to implement their new brand strategy called " Accelerating the Arches ", with one of its main goals being transforming the customers into fans by introducing on-trend and culturally relevant propositions (Beer, 2021). This led to celebrity collaborations like the Travis Scott meal and J Balvin meal. The influence of Travis Scott and J Balvin is evident with their combined 20.1 million followers on Twitter, however, BTS has fans all over the world and boasts a whopping 34.5 million followers on Twitter alone (Shapiro, 2021). By launching a set meal featuring the packaging in the iconic BTS purple, custom take-out bags, and an exclusive merchandising line , BTS fans all over the world were desperate to get their hands on the collaboration. Instead of adding new menu items, the meal had currently existing side menu items and the focus been on the two new limited-time only Cajun and Sweet Chili dipping sauces, which were inspired by Korean flavours. What makes them stand out is that the sauce covers were the iconic pink and purple and had the Korean translation printed on them, which lead to numerous fans keeping the cover and laminating them to make a keychain. The BTS meal was sitting at a retail price of about $12 USD, but the price varies in different countries. Hybe Merch announced and launched the first official merchandise drop of Logo Collection on May 26 in 2021, which fans can purchase exclusively on the Weverse shop app .
Cindy Fang Due to its success, two more drops were announced later due to popular demand. This limited- edition merchandise sold out quickly and the items (like the BTS-brand take out. Bags, cups, sauces) can be found being reseller websites, such as eBay, being sold for many times of the original retail prices (Meisenzahl, 2021). Additionally, McDonald's introduced dynamic in-app content for four consecutive weeks where the digital content is only accessible via the McDonald's app in the US (Nuyen, 2021). Campaign Outcome Although McDonald's have done celebrity collaborations prior to BTS, this was the first collaboration to be released globally (Wiener-Bronner, 2021). With the immense influence of BTS, the collaboration speculated to be even more successful than their Monopoly event. Since its release, over 1.2 million sets were sold , and it was so popular that the sales of McNuggets increased by 250 cents over the course of four weeks in Korea (Chin, 2021). The overwhelming number of sales lead McDonald's being the first fast food chain company to ever sell over one million units of a set made up on side menu items . McDonald's foot traffic increased by twelve percent in the United States over the first week since the release, which outpaced the increase of nine percent of restaurant visits of the Travis Scott meal (Chin, 2021). In the Philippines, the meal was also an incredible success, where 3.5 million pieces of McNuggets were sold solely on the first launch day , and that spike in sales alone was about a 1000% increase from their daily average (Chin, 2021). In the first half of 2020, BTS dominated Hybe by driving 87% of their revenue and owned a combined stake of roughly $100 million in the publicly traded music company (Shapiro, 2021). There were also social media trends on Instagram and TikTok where the fans who secured merchandise or any BTS related items would show it off as a "haul", contributing to the hype. As some content were only available through the McDonald's app, there was an increase in loyalty and sales, where the number in sales of US restaurants went up by 5.5% in the last three months of 2021 (Valinsky, 2021). Exceeding Wall Street's expectations, McDonald's revenue hit $5.9 billion in the quarter , and the sales number of the past 13 months increased by 40.5% (Wiener-Bronner, 2021).
Cindy Fang Conclusion BTS x McDonald's collab was a huge success, making is the first fast food chain to sell over 1 million sets composed of side menu items BTS meal was the first McDonald's collab to sell globally Over 1.2 million sets were sold 12% increase in restaurant visits in US BTS meal boosted McDonald's global sales by 41% by second quarter of 2021 McDonald's reached $5.9 billion in revenue by the quarter BTS generated 87% of sales revenue on Hybe with the BTS x McDonald's merch Overall, this is McDonald's most successful collab thus far
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