McDonald’s Launches Anti-Hunger Ad for the UN’s World Food Programme on Peace Day

Burger King is on board, too, despite McWhopper failure

Headshot of Kristina Monllos

McDonald's apparently had its own plans for Peace Day.

After turning down Burger King's elaborate offer to collaborate on a McWhopper, McDonald's created a 30-second spot—which carries no McDonald's branding—to drive support to the United Nations' World Food Programme.

The spot, "Symbols," created by TBWA\Chiat\Day in New York, is part of the one-day campaign, which is meant to showcase how consumers can make a difference and support refugees and displaced people who are struggling to feed their families.

The campaign is a combined effort "championed first by McDonald's," says a press release, and supported by companies include Burger King, Cargill, DreamWorks Animation, Facebook, Google, MasterCard, McCain Foods, McDonald's, OMD, Twitter, TBWA and United Airlines.

"If anyone can help an international effort to help feed refugees and the fight against hunger, it's us," Steve Easterbrook said in a statement to USA Today.

The commercial, with a voiceover by Liam Neeson and visuals by graphic artist Noma Bar, is meant to highlight how war and hunger are connected as well as "the magnitude of current needs and how a donation to WFP can make a difference."

McDonald's is donating media in 38 countries for the spot and putting it on all of its social channels. Many of the companies involved have also uploaded the artwork associated with the campaign to their social media pages to boost awareness of the campaign that way.

"The private sector has a significant role to play in ending hunger and promoting peace," Jay Aldous, WFP director of private sector partnerships, said in a statement. "This global effort is a powerful example of brands coming together with one voice to make a tangible impact in the lives of vulnerable people."

The WFP's emergency response fund will use the money raised by this effort to help its most critical operations, like those in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. 

Further information was not immediately available, reps for McDonald's and WFP did not immediately respond to Adweek's requests for comment. 

Burger King, meanwhile, went ahead with its post-McWhopper plan to partner with four other chains on a Peace Day Burger, available today.


Spot: "Symbols" for World Peace Day

World Food Programme:

Director: Tyler Guthrie


CEO: Steve Easterbrook

CMO: Silvia Lagnado

Senior Director, Global Brand Development: Matt Biespiel

Artist: Noma Bar

Narrator: Liam Neeson

Animator: Ale Accini

Agency: TBWA\Chiat\Day New York

Rob Schwartz – Creative Director

Melatan Riden – Art/Design Director

Daniel Sanders – Copywriter

Mike Malz – Designer

Anastasia Garcia – Social Content Manager

Kiyotaka Sumiyoshi – Motion Graphics Designer

Chad Hopenwasser – Head of Integrated Production

Jason Souter – Group Executive Producer

Dan Bradbury – Integrated Producer

Katie Porter – Senior Producer

Brittni Phillips – Production Associate

Olivia Whyte – Associate Producer

Debra Horvath – Head of Business Affairs

Jean-Marie Prenaud – President, International Accounts

Aki Spicer – Head of Digital Strategy and Content Planning

Edward Rogers – Account Director

Music: Elias Arts

Track Title: "The Promise of Peace"

Executive  Producer: Joey Netter

Creative Director: Eric Ronick

Producer: Matt Phenix

Composer: John Kaefer

Audio Mix: Heard City

Executive  Producer:Gloria Pitagorsky

Producers: Sasha Awn, Talia Rodgers

Audio Mixers: Evan Mangiamele, Dan Flosdorf, Jeremy Siegel

@KristinaMonllos Kristina Monllos is a senior editor for Adweek.