McDonald’s cardboard table, lean and portable, designed by Leo Burnett, combines ingenuity and creativity. It was recently repurposed for the 2023 Milan Design Week.

In 2013, the Leo Burnett advertising agency in Brazil launched a campaign to enhance the fast food experience for customers who ate on the go. The latter is McDonald’s cardboard table. The agency’s solution was to create a portable cardboard table that could be placed on a customer’s lap. By doing so, it transformed any flat surface into a dining table. This innovative concept solved a common problem for McDonald’s customers and garnered international attention for its creativity and effectiveness.

Close-up on McDonald’s portable tables installed on street poles

The cardboard table was designed to be easy to use and dispose of. It has a simple fold-and-toss mechanism allows customers to discard it after use. Its surface was made of a sturdy cardboard material that could support the weight of a meal. The legs, instead, were reinforced with an additional layer of cardboard to provide extra stability. The table was also printed with colorful graphics featuring the McDonald’s logo and images of popular menu items. Illustrations helped to reinforce brand awareness and increase customer engagement.

McDonald’s cardboard table campaign

The campaign was launched with print and online advertisements showcasing the portable table in action. At the core, there’s convenience and practicality for customers who need to eat their meals on the go. The ads featured images of customers using the table in various settings, from parks and public transportation to office buildings and shopping malls. Messaging was clear: with the McDonald’s portable cardboard table, customers could enjoy their meals anywhere, anytime, without sacrificing comfort or convenience.

Leo Burnet campaign for McDonald’s table bag

The campaign was a resounding success, generating widespread media coverage and earning several awards and accolades from the advertising industry. No wonder the portable cardboard table became a viral sensation on social media, with customers worldwide sharing photos and videos of themselves using it creatively and unexpectedly. The campaign also helped to boost sales and customer loyalty for McDonald’s. Indeed customers appreciated the brand’s efforts to make their experience more enjoyable and convenient.

The success of the portable cardboard table campaign is a testament to the power of creative thinking and innovation in advertising. By identifying a common customer problem and developing a simple, practical solution, Leo Burnett generated significant buzz and engagement for McDonald’s. In addition, they enhanced the brand’s reputation for customer service and innovation. Furthermore, the initiative demonstrated the importance of incorporating environmental awareness into advertising. Using a disposable cardboard table helped reduce waste and promote eco-friendliness.

The repurposing at the Milan Design Week 2023

In conclusion, the McDonald’s portable cardboard table campaign was a brilliant example of how creativity and innovation can make a product go viral. By addressing a common customer problem and developing a practical solution, Leo Burnett enhanced the fast food experience for McDonald’s. He generated significant buzz and engagement for the brand.

Table bag closed and open

The campaign also demonstrated the importance of sustainability and environmental awareness in advertising, as using a disposable cardboard table helped reduce waste and promote eco-friendliness. Overall, the campaign was a resounding success that showcased the power of creativity and innovation in advertising. Also, it continues to inspire marketers and advertisers around the world today. In fact, the idea was repurposed during the recent Milan Design Week 2023.


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