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How McDonalds boosted Gen Z recruitment with smart marketing
McDonald’s, a fast food brand, increased job applications from young people in Canada by inviting them to apply with a friend, with the promise that friends who applied together would work together.
Young people needed
Even before the pandemic, in the quick service industry, supply of jobs generally outweighs demand.
In 2019, youth unemployment in Canada had reached an all time low.
The world of work offered more choice and flexibility than ever before and McDonald’s jobs were the subject of heavy social stigma, with the term ‘McJob’ coined to refer to dead-end, low-paid, low-skilled work.
Apply together; work together
McDonald’s strove to provide a sense of camaraderie among Gen Z by inviting friends to apply together as part of its “Friends Wanted” campaign.
The fast food company launched a series of online films that portrayed two friends working together in a McDonald’s kitchen and interviewed friends together.
McDonald’s provided its restaurant owners with recruiting kits that included digital and print ads and paper tray liners that featured job applications.
The campaign drove a 16.3% year-on-year increase in applications and a 95% year-on-year rise in visits to McDonald’s career page.
“Friends Wanted” proved to be a highly memorable campaign, with an uplift in ad recall of 31.6% among the target audience.
The work won Gold in the 2021 APG Creative Strategy Awards.