Leaked memo reveals McDonald's is collaborating with rapper Travis Scott, as the fast-food giant chases 'youthful multicultural customers'

McDonald's is collaborating with Travis Scott (right).Dia Dipasupil/FilmMagic
  • McDonald's is collaborating with rapper Travis Scott, according to a leaked memo obtained by Business Insider.
  • "Travis is the first in a suite of big celebrities that resonate across segments and are true fans of our food and our brand," US chief marketing officer Morgan Flatley writes in the memo.
  • McDonald's is working to win over "youthful multicultural customers" with the collaboration.
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McDonald's is teaming up with Travis Scott as the fast-food giant prepares for a new celebrity-filled marketing push.

The rapper has signed an agreement to collaborate with McDonald's, according to a memo from the chain's US chief marketing officer Morgan Flatley obtained by Business Insider.

"From his impossible-to-get Nike sneaker line, to a cereal collab with General Mills that sold out in 30 seconds, to a record-setting virtual concert series inside Fortnite, Travis Scott is the definition of big in culture," Flatley writes in the memo.
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"Beyond this, he is a true fan of McDonald's and our craveable, iconic food," she continues. "He will resonate and spark excitement with our youthful multicultural customers, and has a few surprises to delight our crew and ensure they are part of the excitement."

McDonald's declined to comment on the memo. But, Flatley hinted in the memo that more celebrity collaborations are in the works.

"Travis is the first in a suite of big celebrities that resonate across segments and are true fans of our food and our brand," the memo reads. "We can't wait to share the rest of the lineup... in due time."
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McDonald's recent advertising hasn't typically put celebrities front and center.

This year, the chain's Super Bowl ad showed famous orders of celebrities such as Kim Kardashian West, Kanye West, and Whoopi Goldberg, along with fictional and historical characters like The Big Bad Wolf and Marty McFly. However, there wasn't a single celebrity who actually appeared in the ad.
Working with celebrities like Travis Scott paves the way for the chain to engage with younger consumers. Flatley said in an internal June webcast obtained by Business Insider that the company was "starting to lose our younger African-American and multicultural consumers."
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"We need to make sure we are looking through the lens of our operators, our crew, and our people to better connect with African-American youth as we go forward," Flatley continued. "Today is the beginning of that journey for us."

Read the full story: 'Being silent is not an option': Inside McDonald's response to the George Floyd protests, as executives speak out and 1,100 restaurants face closures due to curfews and looting

In the last few weeks, McDonald's social media has broken out of its more traditional mold, posting sharper and wittier tweets that are more similar to those of competitors such as Wendy's.
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Rumors of Travis Scott's collaboration with McDonald's have been swirling online in recent weeks.

In the memo, Flatley thanks agency partners including WKNY, The Narrative Group, Alma, Burrell, Loud and Live, Walton Isaacson, Boden PR, The Marketing Store, Publicis Groupe, OMD, Native Tongue, Admerasia and IW Group.

"We can't wait to share more on our partnership with Travis and celebrate the news with our fans in early September," the memo reads.
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