Keep you McGuessing? McCafé (un)veils new breakfast pop-up

For a few days, a set of mysterious hoarding boards were established in the courtyard of the Jiuguang Department Store in Shanghai. Adding to the mystery is McDonald’s McCafé logo and a short tagline: “Keep you McGuessing” (“麦个关子”, replacing the “卖” in “卖个关子”, keep you guessing to “麦”, the first character of McDonald’s’ Chinese name “麦当劳”).

The mystery was finally solved on 21 February after the hoarding came down, revealing a pop-up McCafé stand and a huge coffee cup installation replete with workplace-related one-liners for your check-in needs. On the opening day, McDonald’s released an AIGC video showing the unveiling moment of the pop-up McCafé on various platforms such as its WeChat channel and on Douyin, TikTok’s sister app in China.

The pop-up breakfast joint has been set up to promote McCafé’s new 15 RMB (2.08 USD) breakfast set that includes a latte and a McMuffin. Between 16 to 25 Feb, 1 million new users of McCafé delivery can get coupons for a free set. The one-liners, such as “coffee: fuel for the intellectuals” or “All I want is to have financial freedom for coffee” are printed on the stairs near the pop-up location and on cards given away as gifts. You can also get a magnet and a notebook when you visit.

McDonald’s has been utilising pop-up restaurants for its recent marketing such as with its CNY campaign. McCafé started its campaign in the early days after the CNY holiday at a prime location in Shanghai. With the ambition of attracting 1 million new users, as well as promoting an affordable morning coffee + breakfast set, McDonald’s is trying to leverage the emotional value hot coffee and warm breakfast can have for the early commuters.


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