How DDB’s New Global CCO for McDonald’s, Luis Miguel Messianu, Wants to Make Its Marketing Braver


A scorecard for bravery

As one of the largest advertisers in the world, McDonald’s fully believes in the power of its marketing, but it needs that investment to deliver maximum ROI, Kissel said.

“The big unlock—spoiler alert—is creativity,” Kissel added. To get those pieces of game-changing creative, McDonald’s and DDB are aligned on one motto: good is the enemy of great. And to get to great, the marketing has to be brave.

DDB is setting up a framework across the different markets it covers to establish ground rules for pushing its limits on creativity. Messianu equates this scorecard to a tennis court. The best players in the world are able to drop shots in as close to the lines as they can to make their volleys as effective as possible. Messianu wants DDB to approach creativity the same way: create work that lands at the edges of what is comfortable.

When the caliber of work is elevated, the client’s media dollars go further. “Be brave enough to save money on your media spending because the work is so intriguing, so relevant, so shareable that people will do it on our behalf,” Messianu said.

Making McDonald’s more sustainable

McDonald’s has executed several sustainability-focused initiatives with the help of DDB, including creating the largest network of electric vehicle chargers in Sweden. And more recently, an OOH campaign in Norway with messaging that encourages consumers to stop littering and also provides trash bins in public places.

But a brand’s footprint far exceeds consumer behavior. According to a 2021 report, McDonald’s carbon footprint sits at 53 million metric tons of carbon per year—more emissions than the entire country of Norway. More and more, agencies are being asked to do more than just communicate messaging around sustainability, but get their hands dirty creating more sustainable packaging or evaluating supply chains to make them less wasteful.

To that end, Kissel said DDB has “multiple things in the works” that it can’t reveal yet that will tackle bigger picture issues for the client.

“They were kind of ‘aha’ moments that came between the agency and the client about things that we can do that will contribute in a positive way to to the environment,” Kissel said.

Messianu and Kissel pointed to its extension of Wieden+Kennedy’s “Famous Orders” campaign, when Alma tapped J. Balvin for his special order and music video. “Where it really starts to go off the charts is if you have a killer creative idea that catches the imagination of the public,” Kissel said. “It actually not just lives in culture, but it starts to move culture.”