UTA students, faculty and alumni share their thoughts on McDonald’s BTS meal

One thing J Balvin, Travis Scott and BTS all have in common is that their McDonald’s meals come with a medium order of fries.

Following the success of earlier collaborations, McDonald’s released a meal for the Grammy-nominated South Korean group BTS on May 26 in the U.S. The meal includes a 10 piece Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, medium Coke and Sweet Chili and Cajun sauces. The promotion is expected to run until Sunday.

For someone like public health senior Adam Gonzales, who walked to the McDonald’s near the social work building while he lived in the dorms, the appeal of the meal was based on his own curiosity, especially after seeing the Travis Scott meal become a trend online.

With TikTok witnessing 6.2 billion views from videos related to the keywords “Travis Scott McDonald’s,” Gonzales said he was interested in the aftermath on social media for the BTS meal as well.

Marketing associate professor Traci Freling said a reason why celebrity meals at McDonald’s have done so well is because of how it can connect a consumer to someone they admire.

“There’s nothing special about the meal, the thing that’s special is that it’s a way of connecting with the celebrity that you have some affinity for,” she said.

In terms of social media, Freling said it’s a good way to reach young people. It’s difficult to reach the typical college student through primetime television like NBC or CBS, but they’ll see your message through social media, she said.

UTA alumnus Calvin Phan said although he isn’t someone who goes to McDonald’s more than once every two weeks, he thought the collaboration with BTS was a neat way for both parties to get publicity.

A lot of people look up to celebrities and want to see what they’re endorsing or the type of products they put out, he said.

Phan said he went with his sister to see what the BTS meal was all about. His sister heard that the meal came with a special presentation, like bags with designs. They didn’t end up getting any of the limited edition BTS packaging, but they did get one of the two sauces.

Gonzales said he had a similar experience when he went looking for photocards that he heard would be at McDonald’s. Each time he went, he wasn’t able to get his hands on any.

Though Phan and his sister left disappointed, he said they’d definitely go back if they were guaranteed the full presentation that was advertised with the meal.

@aivylinaa

features-editor.shorthorn@uta.edu

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