McDonald's is nowhere in its latest campaign, which banks on the social cred of Mindy Kaling, the power of Google, as well as its own reputation as the best place to consume something other than burgers and fries -- Coca-Cola.
A new effort out of We Are Unlimited stars the comedian and actress (wearing a yellow dress and standing in front of a red backdrop) talking about "place where Coke tastes soooo good," and then urging viewers to go ahead, Google it.
Turns out, she's slyly directing viewers to the Golden Arches. It so happens there's a whole pop culture mythology around Coca-Cola tasting extra delicious at McDonald's, and the fast feeder is using it for its latest beverage promotion -- where Cokes (and any other soft drinks) will be $1, and small McCafe drinks are going for $2.
The film lives on a YouTube channel "That place where Coke tastes SO good," which also includes other funny ads that riff on the theme. On April 13, Mindy Kaling, a self-proclaimed (and quite righteous) McDonald's fan, tweeted, "I partnered with a brand w/o being able to say the name of the brand. Is that normal? If so, can I be paid in fries?" It accompanied one ad (above) featuring Kaling and an unnamed beverage technician, both of whom get bleeped every time they presumably say the restaurant's name. Another ad depicts Kaling interviewing a mysterious worker at the unnamed restaurant trying to explain why the Coke tastes so good, but things take a hilariously absurd turn when the ad attempts to distort his voice.
According to McDonald's this is the company's first unbranded marketing campaign.
The ad clearly mentions Coke but does not include the word McDonald's. It was created during the tenure of outgoing McDonald's U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl. In early April, McDonald's announced Wahl would be replaced this month by PepsiCo's Morgan Flatley.
Kaling's fans are aware of the star's affection for McDonald's. But it's not the only burger joint she's linked up with. In September 2015, Umami Burger announced a collaboration with Kaling called The Mindy Burger, as part of its Artist Series fundraising effort. The Mindy Burger, a beef patty topped with pickled jalapeño, fried onion strings, and Sriracha Aioli on the chain's signature bun, was $13 with $1 from each sale donated to the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network.