WcDonald’s Campaign 2024: McDonald’s Anime-Themed QR Codes

Update:  February 26, 2024
WcDonald’s Campaign 2024: McDonald’s Anime-Themed QR Codes

McDonald’s steps into the vibrant world of anime and manga, partnering with Pierrot & Acky, to launch an immersive campaign that honors art and culture. 

Today, February 26, the iconic fast-food chain will be cosplaying as its animated counterpart, collaborating with some of the most well-known names in anime to celebrate a global love for the art form.

Through a tasteful blend of limited-edition manga packaging and exclusive anime shorts featuring original characters, WcDonald’s delves into the heart of Japanese animation and comic art. 

Get ready for a unique dining experience as McDonald’s offers a playful spin on a popular cultural phenomenon and special QR codes to unlock their delicious surprise. 

McDonald’s launches immersive campaign with QR codes honoring manga and anime

The fast-food giant is creating a campaign that transcends marketing, and we’re just as captivated as the next otaku. 

In a LinkedIn post, Guillaume Huin, the Sr. Marketing Director at McDonald’s, wrote: “On 2.26, McDonald’s becomes WcDonald’s, as an homage to the name used for decades in mangas & anime to refer to McD.” 

“New logo, Japanese name, flipped arches, new exclusive packaging, WcNuggets, and a new WcDonald’s sauce with quite a spicy kick – we are officially WcDonald’s now.”

What’s the sauce? McDonald’s new Savory Chili WcDonald’s Sauce, made with ginger, garlic, soy, and chili flakes, will be made available for a limited time, along with exclusive content that you can access through QR codes on food packaging or in select US manga stores.  

What do QR codes have to do with any of this? Well, they’re only the not-so-secret ingredient in McDonald’s recipe for marketing brilliance, bringing packaging to life and connecting customers to four mini-episodes by Studio Pierrot and short mangas by Acky Bright once a week. 

By using a QR code generator to make their special QR codes, McDonald’s contributes to the evolution of marketing by blurring the lines between reality and fiction and catering to niche communities.

What is WcDonald’s?

Wcdonalds QR code campaign

A long-running inside joke in anime communities is how often a series will feature the popular restaurant Mcdonald’s and flip the ‘M’ upside down to a ‘W’ to avoid trademark issues. 

It first appeared in an episode of the 1983 anime series Cat’s Eye — and this wasn’t an isolated incident because other anime studios adopted the “WcDonald’s” concept, maintaining its distinct identity. 

McDonald’s alter-ego has been spotted in over 100 other beloved anime films and shows, such as “A Silent Voice,” “Sally the Witch,” and “The Devil is a Part-Timer!”

On the surface, WcDonald’s is just a funny logo flip, but really it’s a testament to fan creativity and shared amusement while representing the interplay between real and imagined worlds. 

Studio Pierrot & Acky Bright

Wcdonalds anime and manga collab

For anyone out of the loop, this collaboration may come as a surprise, finding unfamiliar packaging in your standard Wednesday McDonald’s run. 

But for the millions of anime fans, whose overseas market only recently surpassed that of Japan’s, this campaign is an imaginative treat born from a fan-made phenomenon. 

So, it makes perfect sense that McDonald’s has teamed up with some of the best in the industry. Studio Pierrot, an anime production company founded in 1972, is known for producing iconic titles like “Naruto,” “Sailor Moon,” “Bleach,” and many more. 

Their work has helped shape the anime industry in massive ways, influencing animation styles and storytelling techniques and starting popular trends. Now, they’ll produce McDonald’s first official anime!

Then we have the man, the myth, the legend himself, Acky Bright, a Japanese manga artist who has illustrated for the likes of DC Comics and Warner Brothers and is now designing McDonald’s limited-time packaging with original Crew characters. 

In a press release, Bright said, “From the details of the diverse Crew characters to the manga plot itself, I loved being able to use my artwork to bring to life the dynamic, vibrant world of WcDonald’s for people around the world.”

The mini-episodes and short mangas created for the WcDonald’s campaign will feature adored anime subgenres and will be released every Monday from February 26 until March 18 on their newly-made website, wcdonalds.com.

QR code marketing appealing to niche audiences 

Within the realm of the global entertainment industry, anime and manga are still considered a subculture and a ‘niche.’ The WcDonald’s immersive campaign showcases the power of QR code marketing in catering to niche interests. 

By joining hands with a well-established facet of the cultural landscape and versatile technology, McDonald’s has created a campaign that connects a well-known brand with passionate fans. 

But this isn’t just about selling McNuggets – it’s about celebrating art, storytelling, culture, and shared passions. A sort of love letter to the boundless creativity of anime and the way that it has resonated with so many. 

Every element of WcDonald’s, from the limited-edition packaging to the exciting anime shorts, is specially crafted to foster mutual respect and appreciation while highlighting a significant shift – a willingness to uplift diverse voices and connections.

We can likely expect to see more and more brands reaching out to specific audiences, not as mere promotional gimmicks but as a way to tap into mutually impactful relationships with various communities.

Brands using QR codes

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