Research by McDonald's found that kids in Hong Kong spend an average of five hours per day in private tutoring classes. Together with DDB
, Hong Kong, the brand wanted to show how important it is to give children time to use their imagination. Solution /
The I'm Amazing
project encouraged kids to imagine what their ideal restaurant would look like. A microsite let the children draw whatever they wanted, using a selection of different crayons from a virtual pencil case. Having finished their masterpiece, kids could then upload the picture, complete with their name and age, to the site. An accompanying parent/guardian also had to complete their details before the submission could take place. Each uploaded picture was then added to the Ideas Gallery
, where users could vote for their favourite drawings, or share them on Sina Weibo
Having collated the most popular drawings, McDonald's then turned them into a reality. A store in Kowloon Bay, Hong Kong, was selected for the makeover, and the 20 best designs were transformed into real-life pieces. (Examples included the Deep-Sea Bookcase and the Rainbow Dinosaur Arch.)
The website submissions received a combined tally of 600,000 votes over 11 weeks. Furthermore, having created the top 20 submissions, these were then sold at auction, generating HK$500k (US$64.5k) for Ronald McDonald House Charities. In total, HK$5.2m (US$671k) of earned media was generated from the campaign.
Issues surrounding so called 'Tiger Mum' - parents who relentlessly push their kids to accelerate their achievements - have been high in Hong Kong's news agenda in the past two years. A 2011 survey found that parents in Hong Kong value good grades over their child's health, with 72% rating academic performance as 'extremely important' compared with 11% citing health. Across the globe, too, strict Chinese parenting styles have been attracting media attention: perhaps the most extreme being the now infamous 'Eagle Dad' - who made his son do press-ups in the snow in his underwear.
McDonald's is responding to this media coverage, reminding parents daydreaming is not a waste of valuable study time but is as important and constructive. The impressive number of votes and a strong payback in earned media suggest that the message resonated with families too.
A new book by Chinese educator Rayfil Wong
supports the McDonald's stance. His book, entitled The Brave Unicorn
argues that creative expression is essential for the modern Chinese child: 'Who is successful in China today? It is not your typical college graduate but self-confident entrepreneurs who seize opportunities and are not afraid to fail.' For more information on Wong's point of view, there's an accompanying press release here.This story originally appeared on Contagious Feed. Contagious Feed is our bespoke trends, inspiration, insight and analysis service, providing daily innovative marketing intelligence across a comprehensive range of sectors to brands and agencies across the world. For more information about Contagious Feed contact firstname.lastname@example.org