When Burger King extended an olive branch to McDonald’s in the name of world peace awareness last month, that extension was swiftly rebuked—in a Facebook post straight from CEO Steve Easterbrook, McDonald’s suggested that the two collaborate instead on “something bigger to make a difference” and a more “meaningful global effort.” At the time, it seemed like a simple write-off. But McDonald’s may yet regain the CSR upper hand now that its global effort is coming into view: this week McDonald’s announced that it is spearheading a multi-million dollar multi-brand Peace Day campaign of its own to support the United Nations’ World Food Programme’s relief efforts as it strives to respond to Europe’s mounting refugee crisis.
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According to this week’s report in USA Today, it seems that the back-and-forth with Burger King inspired McDonald’s to approach the United Nations and inquire about what it could do be helpful. When the UN asked McDonald’s if it could educate consumers on the European refugee crisis and enlist them to donate to its World Food Programme, McDonald’s jumped at the chance:
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The centerpiece of the campaign is an awareness-raising UN World Food Programme-branded commercial, featuring a voiceover from Liam Neeson noting that today's wars have resulted in the most refugees since World War II and issuing a call to action for viewers to donate. While the commercial doesn’t mention the corporate partners involved, McDonald’s in fact enlisted several major global brands to lend their support to the campaign. Along with global leaders like DreamWorks Animation and, Facebook and Google, the list also includes such food and beverage giants as Cargill, McCain Foods, and even Burger King—who clearly had little choice but to get on board and give this sweeping effort their own nod of approval via a statement to the press:
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The World Food Programme praised McDonald’s and its partners for their efforts on this Peace Day, for both the sheer scale of the campaign as well as its timeliness as conflicts in the Middle East escalate the refugee crisis still further:
Just a few weeks ago it seemed unlikely that McDonald’s would emerge from the McWhopper fray looking good. But on the power of a well-timed, much needed and truly meaningful campaign, it now looks like McDonald’s and its partners are coming out on top.
[SOURCE: USA Today]