After months of teasing the launch, it’s official: Starting Tuesday and for a limited time only, Canadian McDonald’s fans can enjoy the Big Mac with chicken patties instead of beef. Yet, judging from the follow-up social media exchanges with fellow fast food brand KFC, that doesn’t mean that there is no beef to be had.
Within the hour of McDonald’s Canada’s Twitter post announcing the Chicken Big Mac, KFC Canada replied with a photo of its own spin on the Mac. Featuring the same double patty with pickles, lettuce, onions, tangy sauce, and cheese that McDonald’s fans have come to love but replacing the McDonald’s chicken patties with the more visibly impressive KFC patties, KFC tweeted, “Fixed it.”
This kicked off a surprisingly sociable exchange between the two fast food giants, with McDonald’s noting that there is “No need to fix something that’s perfect, bestie,” to which KFC replied, “Taste test?”
But the legacy chicken brand didn’t wait for the burger QSR to set up the showdown. Instead, it recruited social media influencers to conduct their own at-home test runs of the modified sandwich. User @mukbangmaxwell, who has close to a million followers on TikTok and Instagram combined, tested the new Big Mac as is before ultimately switching out the patties with KFC’s chicken.
Taking it to the streets
Next, KFC’s response moved IRL. The brand parked truck-sized ads in front of McDonald’s locations in Toronto advertising the Chicken Big Mac upgrade, inviting TikTok influencers to try the new take and give an honest review on which tastes better.
“Chicken’s our turf. So when McDonald’s announced the launch, we saw it as a timely opportunity to have some playful banter and engage with our customers in a fun way,” said Azim Akhtar, director of marketing at KFC Canada, in a statement.
KFC’s Canadian AOR Courage kicked into action with this response campaign less than 24 hours after hearing the news. Following the playful online banter, the brand tapped its #BetterWithKFC hashtag to spread the news of its fast-acting response.
“What I love about this idea is that it’s not just about reacting fast for the sake of being fast. It’s something that’s truly rooted in KFC’s DNA and what it always gets credit for—great tasting chicken,” said Dhaval Bhatt, founder and CCO at Courage.
The agency and brand team-up is quickly building a streak of fast-acting creative. Recently, KFC and Courage debuted an OOH celebration of Lebron James’ career feat of scoring a record-breaking 38,388 points, wishing him well from one “king of buckets” to another.