Change a little, Change a lot

McDonald’s launches its new Plan for Change with the help of Leo Burnett London

Georgie Moreton

Deputy Editor, BITE Creativebrief


In the midst of a month dedicated to sustainability, McDonalds is the latest brand to launch its plan for change to work toward a more climate friendly future. In its new comprehensive business and sustainability strategy the brand has set out some ambitious goals and actions across four key areas; Planet, People, Restaurants and Food. The plan aims to ensure that the business leads positive change from farms to the restaurant counters. 

To help bring this commitment to life McDonald’s has launched a new campaign and brand platform to highlight the impact it intends to have on people, farming and the planet. With the aid of Leo Burnett London, the campaign, ‘Change a little, Change a lot’ sees McDonald’s deliver multiple compelling messages to bring to life the actions and commitments in its Plan for Change and other marketing activity going forward. On top of this within the plan, McDonald’s has set out its aim of net zero emissions across its entire UK & Ireland business by 2040.

Bringing to life the brand platform will be three 40” TV ads that hero the small changes McDonald’s is making across three key areas: youth, farming and waste. The ads deploy a creative and multimedia approach to reflect how McDonald’s size means little positive changes, quickly add up to make a big difference – ‘Change a Little, Change a Lot’. 

Josh Bullmore, Chief Strategy Officer, Leo Burnett, said on the strategy underpinning the campaign that: “We all want to make the world a better place, but most of us feel powerless to effect change. Often the environmental and societal issues we all face feel too big, too intangible, too out of reach. One of the great strengths of McDonald’s is that because of its size, any positive changes the business and its customers make together quickly add up to a lot.”

McDonalds has outlined some of these positive changes it's making in three TV ad slots for the campaign. The first of which focuses on waste, sustainable farming and youth and has been directed by Tom Ralph featuring real people who work with McDonalds. The creative illustrates a series of examples of the actions McDonald’s is taking to reduce waste; including converting used cooking oil into biodiesel for its trucks and recycling McCafé cups into greeting cards or turning Happy Meal toys into kids’ playgrounds. The slot ends with the pledge that McDonald’s plans to collect, recycle, compost or reuse as much waste as possible “which just goes to show when you change a little, you change a lot”

“We have a long history of making a positive impact where it really matters for people and the planet. But we are at a moment now where we need to accelerate our ambition. This new brand platform will enable us to talk about the actions we’re taking to improve opportunities for young people, help growers adopt sustainable farming practices and ensure our packaging is made from renewable, recycled or certified sources.” explained Michelle Graham-Clare, Chief Marketing Officer, McDonald’s, “With 1,400 restaurants, over 23,000 British and Irish farmers and four million customers visiting us every day, we want to show how these and the other changes we’re making in our Plan for Change will make a real difference.”

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