Celebrating brand loyalists - the key to memorable digital storytelling

The story of a McDonald's Happy Meals toy collector and a Myntra shopper from Mizoram tells us how brands need to reward and celebrate loyalty, too

Back in 1998, when the world still retained a certain amount of its child-like innocence, Sunil Chawla visited Bombay and the first thing he did as he stepped off the train was to enter a McDonald’s for his life’s first ever Happy Meal. He stood in the line for more than an hour, wondering what a happy meal is all about. And then - to his utmost joy – he found a toy inside!

Well, that was just the beginning, the beginning of a lifelong obsession for Sunil. That day, he conspired with the Universe to create his very own collection of McD’s Happy Meal toys, even if it meant visiting as many outlets as he could to get his toy. Today the 35-year-old young man has over 300 toys.

“I’m collecting memories, more than toys. It will make me proud when I show this collection to others.” The intention that egged him finally saw the light of day. An exhibition of his Happy Meal toys collection was held recently, by none other than the makers, McDonald’s.

Last October, McDonald’s India set out on a hunt for the biggest Happy Meal fan in the country. The brand invited fans to send in selfies with their collection along with the number of toys in it. Sunil won hands down and is now an inspiration amongst amateur Happy Meal toy collectors.

The makers of the Happy Meal, in partnership with their creative agency, Leo Burnett India, have captured this nearly two-decade-long love story into a minute-and-half long digital film. The man reminisces about his first happy discovery, going on to share his journey of collecting the toys over the years, and how he will never stop even when he is 70!

It is no happy coincidence that the brand discovered a loyal fan of its Happy Meal toys. McDonald’s India has launched a first-of-its-kind offer wherein any meal can be made into a Happy one, by adding a toy for INR 35. For ardent collectors, the competition only increases as the offer is valid only till stocks last. Some collectors are known to have made a fortune trading their old toys, a rage back then.

The aptly named campaign looking to normalize the idea that ‘Toys are for kids of all ages,’ is better summed up in the words of Rajdeepak Das, CCO, Leo Burnett, South Asia -  “There is a child in all of us, and we keep indulging this child with its favourite treats, however, old we may be. McDonald’s has just made it easier for everyone to embrace this child.”

“Toys are for kids of all ages” has truly made it a less embarrassing experience to stand in a queue, with adults hovering all over you, and order a Happy Meal without the fear of being judged. The brand’s social media platforms are running related contests.

Winning Wednesday

Catch them if you can! Send us a screenshot of only Minion Happy Meal Toys collection and win assured prizes!#WinningWednesday #HappyMealToys #ImLovinIt T&C apply.

McDonald's Indiaさんの投稿 2018年1月10日(水)

Last year, the Flipkart-owned online fashion and lifestyle destination, Myntra indulged in a similar digital story-driven campaign, starring Novi - an ardent shopper hailing from Mizoram. Novi has been a part of every End of Reason Sale, the film claims. The End of Reason Sale (EORS) is the brand’s flagship biannual sale.

The 3-minute film titled ‘Myntra Unforgettables with Novi’ tells the journey of shopping at Myntra in the voice of Novi herself. EORS shopping started for the busy stay-at-home mom of two daughters when she was looking for a good collection of clothes for herself, and that which saves her time.

Novi shares stories about her husband, two little daughters, her pet and her home, She goes on to express how lucky she felt when Myntra started door-to-door delivery in her city. Now she shops for her family as well as friends, in fact it has become a tradition for the whole family to shop at the Myntra End of Reason Sale. Novi believes how much looking good is important to feeling good, and thus fashion plays an important role in her ‘happiness’.

Myntra discovered Novi through its data; she was one of the most consistent shoppers on the platform from the North East region. Aside from showcasing her story, the fashion portal also weaved in its commitment to servicing difficult terrains. The delivery guy is seen making it through mountainous landscape and occasionally stopping by heavy rains to protect the package.

Celebrating brand loyalists

Brand loyalty is a rare attribute with consumers in this age. So, when you use your data or set out on a hunt to discover your loyal consumers, you hold on to them, you reward them. You celebrate their story, which in a way is your story, your vision of making a positive impact in your consumers’ lives.

Sunil Chawla’s story is a story of pure joy, bringing alive the idea of McDonald’s ‘I’m lovin it’. His story will indeed help spark the desired push for the brand to build an active community of Happy Meal toys collectors. The Happy Meal that has until now been wildly restricted as choice of meal by the little ones, will now turn trendy for adults as well.

Instead of an ad-led digital marketing campaign, the brand chose a real life story to strategically appeal to adults – the regular McDonald’s consumer in the 30+ age bracket who is embarrassed to order a Happy Meal. Aside from celebrating a brand loyalist, McDonald’s has cleverly connected with a new demographic.

On the other hand, Novi’s story is Myntra’s pride. The fashion portal exists to cater to the fashion-conscious consumer segment, one which believes happiness lies in feeling good, which is a factor of looking good. Showcasing her story equals telling us why it exists, and why you should try the EORS too.

Such heart-warming story-led campaigns are the key to appeasing consumers. The human mind tends to remember real life stories and connect with these people, rather than a brand film with actors.