Business case studies No 167 - 03.03.2017

Placing McCafé Moments at the heart of TV conversations

One of TV’s USPs is that it triggers passionate conversations. This week’s egtabite features a case from the UK market that uses this particular strength in a smart contextual ad campaign.


Having recently launched into the coffee market, McDonalds wanted to promote their coffee credentials. A simple cultural truth led them to the following marketing approach: “Let’s go for a coffee” actually means “Let’s go for a chat”. On this basis, they worked with OMD to create “McCafé Moments” – real people talking in real life about TV shows over their McCafé beverage.


OMD and MacDonald’s partnered with Channel 4 to create contextually relevant ads in key programmes. Channel 4’s most talked about peak time programmes, such as Made in Chelsea, First Dates, The Island and One Born Every Minute were identified as key environments for the crafted content that shaped this partnership. OMD UK worked alongside Channel 4 to contextualise conversations within their TV ads to focus on the key characters and themes of these shows. The media placement of the spots ensured seamless integration between the advert and the most significant TV moments across Channel 4 as they aired.

The 30” spots, created by The Outfit, placed the McDonald's McCafé at the heart of the conversations, with real-life people talking about things that relate to the shows which just aired, all whilst enjoying their favourite McCafé beverage. To make the transition even more seamless, Channel 4 agreed to drop their usual promotional activities making the programme break go straight into the McCafé spot.

See more details including examples and the client’s feedback on Thinkbox’s page.

The campaign extended to All 4 where viewers could choose the ‘Moments’ they wanted to see via Ad Elect. To encourage viewers to try a McCafé there and then, OMD used geo-targeting to show them a personalised link to their nearest McDonald’s.


Sales grew year on year resulting in ten million additional cups of coffee being sold. The campaign  also changed people’s perceptions: statements such as ‘McDonald’s seems more like a high-street coffee house’ went up 40% and likelihood to purchase from the McCafé range up 20%. 

The client was very happy with the campaign, Michelle Graham-Clare, Marketing Manager, McDonald’s commented: “McCafé moments has exceeded our expectations, we came into the market as number four within the field and we are now solidly at number two, eying for that number one position.

Why does this matter to egta members?

Cases such as this one are proving once again TV’s potential to innovate to fit the needs of a given advertiser. It proves not only TV’s powerful role in driving conversations, but also the flexibility and creativity sales houses can offer to specific clients. In a highly competitive video market, the need to develop concepts that will create “stickiness” to the TV ad-break is the same all over Europe and the UK and Channel 4 in particular has always excelled at developing creative new formats which can inspire broadcasters all over the world. Whilst the concept of “native advertising” is defined differently across Europe, this type of contextual clips offer also seamless solutions which break barriers between content and advertising.



» Thinkbox page incl. the video (click here)


» Download in PDF (click here)


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