McDonald’s Backs United Nations Peace Day 2015 Symbols Commercial

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United Nations World Food Programme Stop Hunger Start Peace 2015 McDonald's TBWA commercial

While it’s not supporting the Burger King-led Peace Day McWhopper burger movement, McDonald’s is supporting the United Nations International Day of Peace on Monday, September 21.

McDonald’s is funding the creative and campaign for “Symbols,” a 30-second spot that’s running on TV and online for the World Food Programme’s Peace Day 2015.

It’s one of several global brands “using donated media and social channels” to highlight the campaigns, which was funded by McDonald’s and developed by Omnicom-owned ad agency TBWA with sister agency OMD handling media buying.

As stated in the press release below, “The commercial highlights the connection between war and hunger, the magnitude of current needs and how a donation to WFP can make a difference.” With a voiceover by actor Liam Neeson, the spot will air in five languages, running in 38 countries and on digital platforms.

“If anyone can help an international effort to help feed refugees and the fight against hunger, it’s us,” McDonald’s CEO Steve Easterbrook said in a statement.

Coca-Cola, separately, is also celebrating #PeaceDay with an attempt to set a Guinness World Record and “One,” a Peace Day anthem by Coca-Cola Africa (with Peace One Day) that’s available for download on iTunes, Google Play and Amazon. A limited edition bottle with Peace One Day’s logo will be available in Kigali, where Coke is hosting a concert where the anthem will be sung.

Google is featuring a homepage Google Doodle with Peace One Day:

Other global brands supporting the WFP’s Peace Day campaign with McDonald’s includes Cargill, DreamWorks Animation, Facebook, MasterCard, McCain, Twitter, TBWA, United Airlines and Burger King.

Despite having its McWhopper idea rejected by McDonald’s, BK applauded the McDonald’s-funded campaign with the statement, “Any peace-related activity McDonald’s undertakes, whether in partnership with Burger King or on their own, is great, as it will raise further awareness for Peace Day.”

The WFP said donations generated from the campaign will be used for its emergency response fund and will help refugees in Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. The agency is in the midst of battling the greatest refugees crisis since World War II.

As the New York Times notes, the corporate support is much-needed as “The World Food Program is under increasing pressure to help respond to the millions of Syrians, Iraqis and others displaced from areas of conflict. Tens of thousands of migrants have fled to Europe, which has scrambled to respond to the influx.”

“The private sector has a significant role to play in ending hunger and promoting peace,” stated Jay Aldous, WFP Director of Private Sector Partnerships. “And this global effort is a powerful example of brands coming together with one voice to make a tangible impact in the lives of vulnerable people.”

WFP’s press release:

Global brands rally public support to World Food Programme and families affected by war

ROME – On 21 September, the International Day of Peace, global brands are joining forces across industries and geographies in an unprecedented effort to highlight the vital role of food assistance in creating a more peaceful world. Many companies are donating television and digital media channels to drive support for the United Nations World Food Programme (WFP), the frontline agency fighting hunger.

As the world’s refugee crisis grows and humanitarian resources are stretched, this multi-industry effort championed first by McDonald’s represents a powerful, tangible way for people to make a real difference toward peace and support refugees and displaced people struggling daily to feed their families. Supporting companies include Burger King, Cargill, DreamWorks Animation, Facebook, Google, MasterCard, McCain, McDonald’s, OMD, Twitter, TBWA and United Airlines.

“Today is about people coming together across regions and cultures to take action for a hunger-free and peaceful world,” said WFP Executive Director Ertharin Cousin. “Food assistance plays a powerful role in times of conflict by saving lives and alleviating suffering. Food brings and keeps families together. Food security gives families hope during desperate times while eliminating the need for families to resort to extreme and harmful measures as the only option for survival.”

On television and online, several companies are using donated media and social channels highlighting a 30-second WFP-branded commercial called “Symbols.” TBWA developed the creative for the commercial with funds provided by McDonald’s. The commercial highlights the connection between war and hunger, the magnitude of current needs and how a donation to WFP can make a difference. Many of the companies are also supporting the effort by amplifying the message from their social media pages with related artwork including a call to support affected families by donating to WFP.

“Humanity has one future together. This effort provides a great example of people and companies joining forces to make sure we achieve the goal of a zero hunger future,” added Cousin.

All funds raised from this effort will go to WFP’s emergency response fund that is used to support WFP’s most critical operations, including crises in and around Syria, Iraq, South Sudan and Yemen. With more people displaced now than any time since World War II, the needs are greater than the resources.

“The private sector has a significant role to play in ending hunger and promoting peace,” said Jay Aldous, WFP Director of Private Sector Partnerships. “And this global effort is a powerful example of brands coming together with one voice to make a tangible impact in the lives of vulnerable people.”

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