Marvel leverages McDonald’s partnership in Loki’s season two

Disney+ exclusive series Loki continues to perform well for the platform. The season two finale attracted more than 11.2 million viewers worldwide, even higher than the first episode’s 3-day draw of 10.9 million viewers. Not only did the show further contribute to the setup for the rest of the MCU’s Multiverse Saga, but it also provided ample opportunity for big consumer brands to organically promote themselves to viewers across several episodes.

While Samsung and General Mills both got involved, the biggest spotlight was on McDonald’s as there are numerous scenes of the female Loki character Sylvie working at a 1982 version of the fast food chain.

Holly Frank, Marvel’s VP of Global Partnership Management and Operations, told Adweek, “It felt very authentic that Sylvie (Sophia Di Martino) wanted a nice, calm beat after the events of Season 1. She walks into McDonald’s and sees pretty simple things happening, food being enjoyed, people smiling, and that’s where she wanted to go work. We started having conversations with McDonald’s early on, and what was amazing was it really inspired their whole global campaign.”

Because of the jump back in time to 1982, there’s a heavy amount of nostalgia for McDonald’s involved in the campaign, which likely resonated in an organic way for viewers who grew up with the chain’s Happy Meals. McDonald’s ultimately took the opportunity to create a campaign with Wieden+Kennedy New York to highlight the chain’s longstanding pop culture influence over the decades; part of the campaign also included a 60-second spot with never-before-seen footage from Loki season two.

McDonald’s even went the extra mile of offering a unique pop-up experience at one of its locations in Brooklyn to make the place look and feel like a 1982 McDonald’s with special ’80s pricing and props from Loki to tie it back to the show.

McDonald’s has long benefited from a careful marketing approach that smartly integrates insights on customer data and analytics. To that end, it’s no surprise that the team at McDonald’s would jump at the chance to work with Disney and Marvel. According to Interpret’s New Media Measure®, fully two-thirds of Disney+ subscribers have visited a McDonald’s in the past three months, making it far and away the top fast food chain of choice for Disney+ viewers, many of whom have been tuning into Loki. The second-highest chain among Disney+ subscribers is Taco Bell, but it ranks 20 percentage points behind McDonald’s.