During the recession, McDonald's focused on staying aggressive to build its business and identified the overnight, or "4thdaypart" as a priority in 2012. Having worked with regional co-ops of McDonald's for more than 35 years, Fahlgren Mortine's research team worked with McDonald's to define the target audience, and ultimately decided to focus on a culture of late-night consumers ranging in age from 18-34 years old.
With media relations, TV, radio and out-of-home, we introduced consumers to the Nocturnivore, a person who is out eating at night, but who is also out eating up the night; the proud late-night concert-goer, gamer, or night-owl. With additional radio and certain in-store elements such as the pre-sell kiosk, we helped define the spirit of the Nocturnivore. Spotify, Pandora, Hulu and EA Sports in-game integration helped establish the message with our target consumers, especially when they engaged in late-night activities such as online gaming. In-concert signage, concert photobooths, wrist bands and pedicabs served as the final invitation to go forth and Savor the Night.
Following the campaign, the Nocturnivore markets were up 17.9 percent in comparative sales to 2011 and 15.8 percent in guest counts.
After a single placement in Columbus Business First highlighted the campaign, the story was picked up by the Chicago Tribune, NBC Nightly News with Brian Williams, Time, Moneyland, the UK Daily Mail, The Huffington Post, a Gawker "Prose poem the news" posting, and others, resulting in more than 99 million impressions (343,000 print; 2 million broadcast; 97 million online) and prompted a national trademark filing for Nocturnivore on behalf of McDonald's-US.
The campaign is positioned to be adopted on a regional level, was recognized as the best consumer new product/service campaign at the 2013 Columbus AMA AIM Awards, and is a Silver Anvil and SABRE Award finalist.