McDonalds - Burger Legend: image01

TVC: Concept, Boards, Design, Animation, Compositing

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It should be a dream brief – naming and launching a new product. But when you’re working in a cluttered, low-involvement category, how do you get disengaged people to care about a new burger? How do you create a name so perfect that it captures their imagination, and leads to record sales? Simple. You bring in the big guns. You call for Ken Thomas. This campaign for McDonalds was developed by agency Leo Burnett in Sydney and features fictitious burger naming legend Ken Thomas, who has retired from the ranks of McDonalds greats and wants to hand the burger-naming baton to a younger generation. Tony Bonner, of “Skippy” fame, donated a lifetime’s worth of photos in order to create the fictional Ken Thomas character – a high-flying playboy famous for naming some of McDonald’s most iconic burgers… like the “Cheeseburger” and the “McChicken”. After having several cartons of photos dumped on my desk, I set about crafting montage sequences depicting Ken Thomas’ rich history and exploits. These animated collages included fictional news articles and magazine spreads detailing his genius. In some cases real articles were photoshopped, in others Ken was inserted into completely fictional spreads, and made to shake hands with Ronald or hold aloft a golden burger. Three sequences were created for three TVCs – featuring the Cheeseburger, Double Cheesburger, and McChicken. The creation of a believable Ken Thomas identity, revealed through the montages of edited photos and fictional news stories, made a direct connection with the Australian public. As a result, the campaign was McDonald’s most successful online engagement campaign ever. The competition to name the new burger received 24,100 suggestions in the first few days of launch. Nearly 250,000 people visited the microsite (no longer online) with 85% submitting a burger name. And even though the promotion was only open to the Australian public, the site had visitors from 148 countries (there are only 194 countries in the world). In all, McDonalds sold over 4.2 million burgers during the campaign. 3 years later, I am proud to say that Tony Bonner has linked back to the TVCs on his Facebook account. .


Leo Burnett Sydney
Justin Kurzel
Scott Geersen
Additional Animation and Compositing:
Dean Reichichi (McChicken)
Additional Mattepainting:
Kurtis Richmond



Gold Award: Established Product Brand – APG Creative Planning Awards, 2008 Showcased on “A Current Affair”, interview with our own “Ken Thomas” about his experience with the commercial. Gold APMA 2008 Best activity generating brand awareness and trial Shortlisted for the Cannes 2008 Direct Marketing Shortlist


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