Over the past few years, McDonald's has increasingly focused its marketing campaigns on attracting a more dynamic urban audience. From the likes of R&B crooner Dwele's smooth melodic lyrics promoting the company's McCafé coffee to sponsoring a celebrity DJ battle featuring Spinderella, Bryan-Michael Cox and DJ Irie, the international franchise is hoping to reach on a niche audience.
To capitalize on its previous efforts, the fast-food giant recently launched its Dollar Menu at Breakfast commercial with the popular New York City shuttle service Dollar Van Demos, which features aspiring artists showcasing their talent while commuting in Brooklyn.
The innovative ad features up-and-coming New York rappers Wordspit and Joya Bravo, who display their lyrical word play to complement the menu's various breakfast items.
"I'm actually rapping in the van with a cute young lady sitting behind me," Wordspit told BV Newswire. "The music I'm rapping over is really engaging and not cheesy. It feels like you're just waking up and you just want to take a bite of that McDonald's and take this experience with you on the road."
"It's like a reality music video," added Harlem resident Joya Bravo. "I'm inside a van singing, and you have people randomly getting onto the Dollar Van, much like any other New York or urban city. And these people get on and they're surprised to see somebody singing in the van; they're always caught off guard. So basically I'm singing about the morning menu. So shout out to the sausage burrito."
Taking advantage of today's viral distribution capabilities helped connect the billion-dollar corporation to a younger population, according to Dollar Van Demo founder and creator Joe Revitte, who revealed that McDonald's ad agency contacted him through the company's YouTube channel.
"In terms of hooking up with McDonald's, it was a result of one of their ad agency folks watching the videos and then subscribing to our YouTube channel," Revitte explained. "And what happened was a conversation continued and they basically said, 'We could probably use this as a campaign. Would you be interested?'"
"I think just by good circumstance or coincidence they have a Dollar Menu and we have a Dollar Van, so it's an obvious relationship there," he continued. "But, frankly, the people who are our passengers are the people who want an affordable breakfast and this is their affordable transportation. So I think they see a lot of common ground between what we're providing as service and what they're providing as a food."
As for creating the actual song for the commercial, Wordspit described the studio process as something he left in the producer's hands in order to get the best quality outcome.
"They actually allowed me to pick my beat," the charismatic MC explained. "I picked my beat the first time I came into the building and met with the representatives of McDonald's. They had four or five beats, and I picked the best beat that suited me. Inside the studio, I had a producer there and he was giving me pointers. A producer's job is to make sure they get the best quality product, and at the end of the day, they're selling a product. He wanted to get the best out of me to give them the best. And that's just how I see it"
In the future, Revitte aspires to expand his Dollar Van Demo empire beyond Flatbush Avenue, branching out into other genres; entertainment; cities and countries, including Africa and South America.
"I think it's a welcome development for us, because we've done a lot of videos, and I think we're growing," he revealed. "We're not marketing this just yet, so this is an opportunity for them to come and market with us and to get exposure."
Check out behind the scenes footage of McDonald's latest breakfast commercial below.