ABC Primetime Special
The Concert for World Children’s Day
Case Study: Experiential Marketing
The Concert for World Children’s Day was created, architected, and produced by Executive Visions (EVI) for their client McDonald’s. EVI was co-founded by Charles Marto who, while serving as Executive Vice President and Principal, was credited as Co-Executive Producer on this ABC prime-time entertainment special.
McDonald’s and RMHC wanted a partner for activating one of the world’s largest corporate philanthropic efforts in history to help children and families in need…World Children’s Day at McDonald’s.
The globally integrated platform was designed to catapult RMHC’s fundraising to new levels, raise awareness of the great work being accomplished by the charity, and reinforce McDonald’s position as a socially responsible leader.
A brand-building, integrated-media initiative that reached millions of consumers via an original network television entertainment special, online content, numerous live events, celebrity endorsements, sponsored PSA-styled video spots, global PR, proprietary concert DVD and CD, and in-store promotions.
At the core of the program was “The Concert for World Children’s Day”, a one-hour ABC primetime entertainment special that leveraged music as the emotional connection to touch the hearts and minds of consumers. Music-directed by 16-time Grammy winner David Foster, the concert starred Celine Dion, Enrique Iglesias, Michael Buble, Josh Groban, Peter Cetera, Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, Yolanda Adams and members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.
Taped before a live audience at Chicago’s Arie Crown Theater, the special was the world’s first concert broadcast in cinematic 24-frame progressive high definition. The show garnered a 2002 primetime Emmy Award for Original Music for the Foster-composed “Aren’t They All Our Children”. The song was translated into 14 languages and served as the guiding creative theme for worldwide activation.
In conjunction with the primetime special:
- Compelling PSA-styled videos were produced and aired as transitions between musical performances – media that blurred the lines between program and commercial time, portraying a gripping storyline about RMHC’s work, and directly soliciting financial contributions
- A marketing powerhouse was harnessed, including RMHC, McDonald’s Corporate Communications, McDonald’s franchises, McDonald’s Marketing, Advertising and PR agencies, sponsor partners and television networks
- A full sponsorship integration effort was created with Disney, Coca-Cola and Yahoo, leveraging the power of those brands in the overall activation
- McDonald’s restaurants around the world were fully engaged, culminating with World Children’s Day at McDonald’s
- The initiative attracted a broad range of celebrities and endorsements from the entertainment, sports and political worlds including, Paul Newman, Dustin Hoffman, Queen Noor of Jordan, The Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, Venus and Serena Williams, Carl Lewis, Tony Stewart, Hayden Panettiere, Ciara, Alejandro Fernandez, and Jessica Simpson.
The strategy, architecture and activation of the World Children’s Day activity resulted in a paradigm shift for RMHC and charitable organizations in general, demonstrating the communication and fundraising power of such a completely integrated, cross-media, brand-building platform.