Against a backdrop of rising concerns about obesity and globalisation, McDonald’s had been the whipping boy for everything big and bad about America and fast food.
McDonald’s was determined to counter the negativity. In 2008, it was a major sponsor of the Beijing Olympic Games (official restaurant) and it wanted to maximise its involvement.
The objective was to re-engage schools and parents by leveraging McDonald’s sponsorship of the Games as well as getting children “active by participation”, and personally involved with the Olympics, rather than regarding it as a spectator sport.
The solution was ‘My Greatest Feat’. Supported by the New Zealand Olympic Committee and over 60 individual Olympic athletes, the two-week schools activity programme required children to count their steps on a free pedometer and undertake a virtual marathon walk the length of New Zealand from Cape Reinga to Bluff (a feat of Olympic proportions).
My Greatest Feat snowballed into the biggest physical activity programme ever undertaken in New Zealand :
* 55% of the nation’s primary schools took part.
* Over 94,000 children participated – with full, signed parental approval.
* Children took over 3 billion steps – walking 1,666,319 km – equivalent to 41 times around the world, or around the moon and back, twice.
* McDonald’s brand trust scores took a giant leap :
o “Is a company I can trust” - up 33%
o “Encourages active, balanced lifestyles” - up 50%
o “Has food I feel good about children eating” – up 33%
My Greatest Feat lived up to its name.