The wait is over, ARMY—BTS‘s special meal is finally rolling out at McDonald’s. From the United States to Brazil to South Korea, numerous countries are now offering the “BTS Meal” for purchase. The new partnership is already exploding with hype from fans across the world, but why did the brand choose BTS specifically? In an interview with Rolling Stone, the marketing team at McDonald’s revealed all.
McDonald’s Famous Orders initiative has been in the works for quite a while, with both Travis Scott and J Balvin teaming up with the brand to offer their own special meals. However, the new McDonald’s partnership with BTS has to be one of their biggest yet.
As of May 26, the “BTS Meal” (which serves the group’s favorite Cajun and sweet chili dipping sauces with 10 McNuggets, fries, and a Coca-Cola) began its rollout in almost 50 countries worldwide, but it’s already been gaining attention for weeks.
So, why did McDonald’s choose to work with BTS this time around? McDonald’s U.S. franchisee marketing committee chair Vicki Chancellor explained that when it comes to selecting the right musical artist for a new Famous Orders deal, “Authenticity is key.”
Alongside ensuring the brand only works with artists who are true fans of McDonald’s food, Chancellor says they also want to partner with celebrities who are loved by customers and McDonald’s crew members alike.
As for selecting BTS specifically, McDonald’s U.S. chief marketing officer Morgan Flatley explained that one of the biggest reasons behind the decision was ARMY. “[BTS] have an incredibly passionate and loyal fanbase,” he explained, “which is a big reason why we decided to partner with them.”
Plus, from an authenticity standpoint, Flatley shared that the group are “true fans” of McDonald’s, each member with their own memories of the brand.
And, it seems that BTS also marked an opportunity for McDonald’s to take Famous Orders to the next level. While previous partnerships have been limited to one country, BTS’s collaboration expands to almost 50 markets across several continents. “Our partnership with BTS, a truly global fanbase,” says Flatley, “was a perfect opportunity for many of [the other McDonald’s markets] to get in on the fun.”
Naturally, the “BTS Meal” hasn’t been without its hurdles for McDonald’s. Given that the meal will be sold in so many territories, Flatley explained that there’s “lots of involvement and integration” involves to create a worldwide order and ensure customers have a consistent experience wherever they are.
Of course, it’s all paying off already. The chief marketing order says the “BTS Meal” announcement alone has driven “record-breaking engagement” on McDonald’s social media platforms and even brought in K-Pop fan followers for Morgan Flatley himself. “We’ve seen incredible support from BTS’ fanbase with fans creating their own memes and positive content about the partnership in social media,” he also noted.
As for the future, what can fans expect now the “BTS Meal” has been released? Flatley shared that the partnership has been modeled off the typical K-Pop song release system, with release schedules, teaser photos, and more. Now, just like a K-Pop comeback, they’ll be delivering plenty of weekly behind-the-scenes content with BTS available on the McDonald’s app.
Plus, there’s a new merch collection too. Flatley noted that photocards were one of the most anticipated items they wanted to offer, but the collection also includes everything from clothing and bags to AirPods cases and stationery. The BTS x McDonald’s merch collection will be available for pre-order as of May 27 at 8:00 a.m. Korean Standard Time.