the brief

When McDonalds Ireland contacted us and said they wanted to film live blind taste tests, well it’s safe to say we were intrigued!  After the launch of their successful television advert The Power of Taste (link) in which they showed actors blind tasting various foods and filming their reactions in slow motion McDonalds Ireland wanted to activate these series of adverts and bring the it to the real tasters – the Irish consumers.

The concept

McDonalds Ireland held four Power of Taste road shows over two weekends in June in key locations across Ireland (Dundrum Town Centre, Blanchardstown Shopping Centre, Eyre Square in Galway and Mahon Point in Cork) to capture just like the adverts, some strong taste reactions in super slow motion. The aim was to:-

1.    Remind people that taste is powerful thing and that you should choose wisely and McDonalds Ireland always has food to please your taste buds.

2.    Capture participants reactions in a fun way and then use social media to instantly share these reactions with the McDonalds branding on the images.

What McDonalds Ireland required of Visual Narrative was quite specific:-

1.    To film the each participant tasting the food in slow motion.

2.    Relay each participant’s reaction immediately to an LCD screen while capturing a still image with McDonalds branding ready for upload to Facebook.

3.    Produce a teaser film to promote the first weekend of the road show and also a complete film for both weekends and an internal edit for McDonalds marketing team.

The Reactions

To replicate the TV advert we had to film in super slow motion (120 frames per second) and also playback and output this immediately to both a laptop for image capture and a TV screen for playback. The Sony F5 digital cinema camera was the perfect choice to capture the detail and quality McDonalds required.

Capturing the Perfect Still Image

McDonalds Ireland wanted the live road shows to be publicised on Facebook as they were happening so testers friends and family would like, share and possibly come down and join the tester on the pod. 

So immediately after the taste test was filmed, we had to find a method of capturing a still of the participant’s reaction. Using Blackmagic Design’s Ultra Studio Mini Recorder we were able to receive a live feed from the F5 camera into our laptop and select the appropriate (most embarrassing usually!) frame. From there we quickly imported the still into Photoshop to add the all important McDonalds branding and exported it ready for transfer over Bluetooth to the awaiting iPad to upload to the participants Facebook page. This was usually achieved in under 90 seconds, which was good as we had up to 300 participants in one day!

We produced two separate films for McDonalds Ireland Power of Taste Campaign.


Film 1 – The Teaser

This 30 second film was produced straight after the first two road shows and was used on social media to attract interest and a crowd for the remaining two road shows the following weekend. 



Film 2 – The Recap

This film was used to highlight both activation weekends and give the all Ireland feel that McDonalds wanted. With over 70,000 views to date it proved to be one of McDonalds Ireland’s most popular videos.