McDonald’s beans hit the small screen for Toronto film fest

Fast food chain builds excitement around McCafé coffee brand in online video series

McDonald’s coffee beans are hitting screens at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival.

To build excitement around McCafé coffee, McDonald’s partnered with mobile app Shazam, which recently launched visual recognition technology. The technology allows users to wave their mobile device over specially marked products to access dynamic content.

McDonald’s and its creative agency Cossette created parodies of memorable scenes from five classic movies using coffee beans as characters. The 30- to 60-second “bean scenes” are advertised on McCafé hot cup sleeves, with an invisible watermark created by Shazam.

When the coffee sleeve is scanned using a smartphone, it will link consumers to the movie scenes at Each movie title has a playful twist related to coffee: Beanheart (Braveheart); Lawrence of Arabica (Lawrence of Arabia); The Grinding (The Shining); The Good, the Bad and the Brewed (The Good, the Bad and the Ugly); Donnie Darkroast (Donnie Darko).

This is the fourth year McDonald’s has partnered with TIFF as the “official coffee” of the festival, which is celebrating its 40th anniversary.

“We wanted to celebrate TIFF’s 40th anniversary in a special way, so [we created] what we consider a really fun activation that embraces and blends together a love for movies and a love for coffee,” said Chuck Coolen, marketing manager, Ontario, at McDonald’s Restaurants of Canada.

“What better way to connect with movie fans than to do parodies of scenes from classic films, and to do them in unique and surprising way that’s reflective of the McCafé brand.”

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