Why Marvel Gave McDonald’s a Glorious Purpose in Loki Season 2 Marketing

Marvel fans are ready for Season 2 of Loki, and brands like McDonald’s are lovin’ it.

Loki Season 1 debuted on Disney+ to great critical acclaim in 2021, quickly gaining the title of most popular Marvel series premiere on the platform at the time. So for Season 2’s Oct. 5 premiere, the God of Mischief is pulling out all the stops and assembling his own Avengers-like team of brand partners and TV advertisers, complete with custom creative, activations and ’80s nostalgia.

The partnerships for the Disney+ series’ second season involve event-heavy brand campaigns with companies such as Samsung, General Mills and the aforementioned Golden Arches. And according to Holly Frank, vp, global partnership management and operations, Marvel, one of the tricks to bringing those partnerships together is to make sure nothing feels forced.

“We’re taking a look at the script and seeing if there’s anything organic from an integration standpoint, working closely with our filmmakers, of course,” Frank told Adweek.

One of those organic partnerships came with McDonald’s, which was in the script before Frank’s team was even brought in.

“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,” Frank said. “We started having conversations with McDonald’s early on, and what was amazing was it really inspired their whole global campaign.”

The McDonald’s scenes in Loki, which feature a 1982 version of the fast food restaurant, were shot last year, so the QSR chain had plenty of time ahead of the upcoming Season 2 premiere. Ultimately, the company created a campaign with Wieden+Kennedy New York that showcased McDonald’s place in pop culture throughout the decades, complete with a 60-second spot with never-before-seen footage from Loki Season 2.

The company’s “As Featured In Meal” campaign included a global program in 100 markets, with 28,000 restaurants participating and 1.3 billion pieces of packaging. In addition, a special popup experience brought one McDonald’s in Brooklyn back to 1982, complete with props from the series and special ’80s pricing.

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