Over the past 40 years, Chicken McNuggets have earned their place in pop culture: Usain Bolt famously ate 100 McNuggets each day of the Beijing Olympics, Travis Scott’s McNuggets pillow was all the rage, and when Rick and Morty revived an old McNuggets dipping sauce, it literally broke the internet. On McNuggets’ 40th anniversary, a new exhibition curated by Kevin Poon, and a campaign developed by DDB Group Hong Kong, celebrate their iconic status by creating a large-scale shared pop culture experience, fueled by McNuggets.
The campaign first places McNuggets inside Hong Kong’s vibrant arts and culture quarter – in the West Kowloon Cultural District. Curated by multi-hyphenate creative director, Kevin Poon, the first-of-its-kind pop art exhibition dedicated entirely to the McNuggets, will open at the Arts Pavilion. The exhibition is designed to be an immersive and interactive journey that fuses art, technology, and culture, featuring multinational creatives including VANDYTHEPINK, Jon Burgerman, UFO907, Gyuhan Lee, and FrankNitty3000 and their unique interpretations on the iconic McNuggets.
VANDYTHEPINK’s “Team McNuggets” seen at the exhibit, will feature across the campaign. The team of characters include a pop art reinvention of Coach McNugget, the iconic character from the brand’s marketing in the 80’s, his Assistant Coach McNugget, as well four team members affectionately named after typical McNugget shapes, Ball, Bell, Boot and Bone. Visitors to the exhibit will be able to purchase a series of Team McNuggets merchandise as well as create their own McNugget shapes. All proceeds from the exhibition will be donated to Ronald McDonald House Charities Hong Kong.
The campaign also takes McNuggets to the metaverse via a debut partnership with The Sandbox, with the creation of “McNuggets Land”. Players can conquer a series of gamified challenges to have an opportunity to win an array of digital and physical prizes, including a year of free McNuggets. Visitors to “McNuggets Land” can also engage with the Team McNugget pop art characters as well as the McNugget shapes created by exhibition visitors.
To help promote the campaign, a series of online videos feature the new McNuggets characters in a fun museum takeover story, with art exhibition producer Kevin Poon starring as the security guard. The videos introduce each of Coach McNugget’s team members, helping Hong Kong get better acquainted with the loveable pop art characters.
Tina Chao, Chief Marketing and Digital Customer Experience Officer of McDonald’s Hong Kong , said, “The McNuggets are often at the heart of fun sharing occasions, but it’s nice to see them getting the limelight on their 40th birthday. This campaign is a celebration of the past but also aims to nuture brand love for the new generation by tapping into their passion points of art and gaming to create meaningful engagement”.
Kevin Poon, Curator of the Special Exhibition of the 40th Anniversary of Chicken McNuggets said, “It’s truly a dream come true to curate a show for McDonald’s Hong Kong, something that I’ve been curious about doing since I was in elementary school. Having the artistic freedom to curate a special exhibition celebrating the 40th anniversary of Chicken McNuggets and spanning across fine art, AR, and VR, is an incredible opportunity. I can’t wait to see everyone’s reaction to the show.”
Andreas Krasser, CEO of DDB Group Hong Kong, commented, “There aren’t many products that become icons, but the beloved McNuggets have proven this status in more ways than one. It’s always great fun to work on a campaign that puts a new spin on a familiar fan favourite.”
All celebrations will continue for a one-month period, commencing with the opening of the McNuggets art exhibition on the 29th of July.