tms’ Akkshata Lakeshrii wins at McDonald’s Three-Legged Stool Awards

Winners posing for a photo

It is with great pleasure we announce that tms’ very own Akkshata Lakeshrii, Account Manager, India Markets, won the Exceptional Performance Award at McDonald’s Three-Legged Stool Awards. Taking place on June 27 in Bangkok, Thailand, McDonald’s Three-Legged Stool Awards honors employees, franchisees, and suppliers across the globe for achieving sustained growth and success through collaboration. 

Akkshata’s acceptance of the Exceptional Performance award displays her significant impact on client relationships, cost savings initiatives, supplier commitments, operational efficiency, and client satisfaction. Our Sourcing Buyer Mandy Badyal also played an integral role in achieving outstanding cost savings, along with the rest of tms’ India team.

Congratulations to Akkshata for her outstanding contribution and exemplary leadership in the India Source to Contract (S2C) project completion. She’s done excellent work and demonstrated commitment in a short amount of time to deliver great results for our clients.

Hazem Moussa
VP Commercial Lead, APMEA

Akkshata is extremely grateful to receive this accolade and expressed her gratitude for the support of her manager Nadir Ali, Director Account Management: 

“Nadir’s unwavering support and leadership style has enabled me to excel in my role by helping the client achieve savings and contribute effectively.” 

Learn about other awards where tms has been recognized by McDonald’s, such as being honored at McDonald’s Supplier Symposium earlier in 2024 for 27 years of a bountiful partnership. 

tms and McDonald’s joined forces with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products for MultiVersus Happy Meal®

Hero image with Warner characters and logo

McDonald’s and tms teamed up with Warner Bros. Discovery Global Consumer Products to create an unforgettable action-packed experience, the MultiVersus Happy Meal®, based on the newly launched MultiVersus, the free-to-play videogame that brings together an all-star cast of iconic Warner Bros. Discovery characters.  While this promotion has ended in most major markets, it is set to run across Pakistan, Turkey, and Panama throughout various times in 2024. 

For a limited time at participating McDonald’s restaurants nationwide, with every Happy Meal®, fans received one of six double-sided toy tins featuring a duo of characters from Batman and Shaggy to Wonder Woman and Bugs Bunny.  Each tin also came with a jigsaw puzzle, memory card game or a character collector, and activity card. These collectors’ tins were made from more sustainable aluminum materials, adding to the toy’s longevity by positioning the tins as valuable keepsakes and attracting all ages to participate.   

Fans were also able to scan the code on their Happy Meal® box to access the McDonald’s MultiVersus digital experience, where they embarked on an interactive adventure and took quizzes that unveiled the dynamic duos and celebrated their characters’ combined powers. 

The MultiVersus Happy Meal® promotion was a great learning curve to create more sustainable toys where we could blend nostalgia with pure fun through beloved characters. A joy for parents and kids alike.

Hannah Nallappane
Product Manager at tms

The Happy Meal® packaging tapped into the game’s dynamic duos, featuring a pop-art background with pairs of characters from alternate worlds like Bugs Bunny and Shaggy or Harley Quinn and Superman.  

tms supports McDonald’s launch of the new Grandma McFlurry®

Grandma McFlurry retail poster

There’s no place like grandma’s house, and now customers can taste that feeling with McDonald’s new Grandma McFlurry®! This new McFlurry is available exclusively in the US, running from May 21 to June 16 while supplies last. 

This delectable dessert takes inspiration from the comforting flavors of classic sweet treats, blending creamy vanilla soft serve with rich, syrupy swirls and candy crumbles reminiscent of grandma’s favorites she kept in her purse. It’s a nostalgic journey back to the memories with our grandmas, where every bite was filled with warmth and love. 

Being able to work on the new Grandma McFlurry® and help make these celebratory moments special at McDonald’s was so exciting. The team explored some amazing creative ways in to bring this work to life – we can’t wait to get our sweet treat!

Elizabeth Toscano
Account Supervisor at tms

Our embedded packaging agency, Boxer Brand Design, was responsible for the packaging design – drawing inspiration from household décor normally found at grandma’s house, like doilies and heartwarming signs with handwritten messages of endearment.  

tms sourced the themed packaging, which includes two limited edition Grandma McFlurry® cups and carryout bags. tms also designed the retail elements around the store, including stop motion elements at the point of order, promotional posters, drive-thru banners, and more, featuring bold fonts in a pink and orange color scheme stating familiar sayings like “xoxo, Grandma” or “save room for dessert.” 

A week at McDonald’s Worldwide 2024

tms' Future Lab booth

tms colleagues from around the globe had a fantastic time attending McDonald’s Worldwide 2024 (WW24)! Taking place in Barcelona, Spain, this week-long event championed McDonald’s franchisees and suppliers by celebrating collective successes, showcasing diverse strengths, and planning for the future of the brand. 

Throughout the week, tms colleagues lent a helping hand by staffing various booths across the convention that touched on more sustainable packaging solutions, merchandise, uniforms, engaging Gen A, and more. Key topics at WW24 included growing fandoms, innovating digital experiences, and elevating restaurant experiences. 

 

Fandoms

McDonald’s highlighted that brand fandom is created through advancing cultural relevance, menu innovations, and positive community impact. 

tms’ Future Lab was featured in the “Building Future Fans through Happy Meal” booth, showcasing ways to elevate experiences and turn McDonald’s youngest customers into lifelong fans. tms’ Future Lab comprises a global team of cross-functioning specialties formed to support and grow McDonald’s Global Family efforts in testing and developing sustainable toy and game design.  

Research shows that societal pressures have affected Gen A; however, such conditions have made them adaptable and resilient. Gen A are individuals who want to make a unique impact and support brands that share similar values to help them foster connections through digital platforms in the face of social isolation. 

Several members of tms’ Happy Meal and Global Family teams attended the booth to discuss the magic behind the longstanding program, including Armando Zuniga, MPD², Vice President, Product Innovation; Geoff Smyrk, VP, Global Creative Director; and Claire Soper, VP, Client Engagement for McDonald’s Global Family. 

“There are so many ways that tms helps connect families with the McDonald’s brand, and it’s exciting to share that great work with restaurant operators from all over the world,” Claire Soper remarked. 

In partnership with supplier WayToBe, tms sourced all merchandise featured at WW24, showcasing the integral role we play as part of the McDonald’s System. tms plays a pivotal role in the business operations, creative design, and visual identity for McDonald’s Golden Arches Unlimited e-commerce platform. Diana Samper, SVP Group Creative Director at Boxer Brand Design; Lisa Burgess, Senior Director, Engagement at Boxer Brand Design, and Paige Ritter, Senior Account Executive, amongst others, helped run the bustling Fan Store throughout the week, where attendants were eager to grab an assortment of products like sweaters, t-shirts, pool floats, and towels! 

“I can’t gush enough about how amazing this team is and how hard everyone has been working as a well-oiled machine to make the Fan Store a huge success,” stated Katie Theophilus, Global Brand Manager & Fan Store Booth Experience Lead for McDonald’s. 

Restaurant experience

McDonald’s emphasized the importance of optimizing its overall restaurant experience by evolving operations, capitalizing on opportunities for growth, and empowering its people. tms has helped McDonald’s evolve its restaurant operations by finding sustainable solutions for necessities like food packaging, crew uniforms, and delivery services. 

Jon Beach, Senior Director of Global Packaging Innovation & Growth, and Violet Stefanovski, tms’ VP of Global Single-Use Packaging Category Lead, were on hand in the Global Impact booth to showcase the more sustainable packaging solutions we’re exploring to help McDonald’s reach its goal of sourcing 100% of primary guest packaging from recycled, renewable, or certified sources by 2025. 

It’s been great to talk with operators from around the world to share some of the new technologies we’re exploring and hear about their unique needs and challenges. We’re excited to work with McDonald’s, our packaging suppliers, and the markets to create the best possible packaging to meet McDonald’s goals and their customers’ expectations. 

 

Jon Beach
Senior Director of Global Packaging Innovation & Growth at tms.

Also on the convention floor were tms-ers Haydn Morgan, Senior Director Packaging & Growth Platforms, and Swami SV, Vice President, Innovation & New Product, who supported the Operations booth by presenting our award-winning Delivery Cuff, heat-sealing machines, and aerated fry carton solutions to ensure the quality and consistency of McDonald’s operations outside of its retail stores. 

Furthermore, Valerie Oppenheimer, Director, Global Uniforms Category, staffed the booth alongside U.S. uniforms suppliers WayToBe and Affinity to show off sustainable new uniforms made with groundbreaking CiCLO technology, a textile which mitigates synthetic microfiber pollution.  

Innovative digital experiences 

The final topic of conversation centered around the importance of an innovative digital future for the brand. Chris Kempczinski, McDonald’s President and CEO, spoke during the day’s general session on the importance of McDonald’s digital future as a growth opportunity, and how to foster greater customer loyalty through using AI to offer personalized experiences. 

tms has taken strides to elevate McDonald’s loyalty programs by developing superior in-app experiences, forming unique partnerships, and sourcing exclusive merchandise, so we are excited for the additional growth opportunities that lie ahead.  As e-commerce platforms continue to exponentially grow, it is important to develop a regular customer base by making MyMcDonald’s Rewards a loyalty program that consistently rewards its users through unexpected brand experiences, collaborations, merchandise, personalization, and more.  

 

We would like to extend our gratitude to McDonald’s for hosting such a fun-filled and inspiring event. It was great to connect with others within the McDonald’s Family System, and we cannot wait to see everyone at the next Worldwide in 2026! 

Getting customers bubbling with excitement

Image of a McDonald's paper Winning Sips bag and soda cup

Opportunity

With the backdrop of the cost-of-living crisis, tms and McDonald’s wanted to bring customers some much-needed cheer. Enter ‘Winning Sips’. We set out to create a campaign that would create feel-good moments for customers, engaging them through attention-grabbing promotions and exciting visuals to showcase McDonald’s generosity and invoke a sense of joy. 

Logo with the text

Approach

tms developed the strategy for ‘Winning Sips’ based on McDonald’s value framework that centres on showing generosity to customers. Working cross-functionally to bring together technology, marketing, and sourcing, we brought to life the creative conception, in-app experience, packaging, and merchandise. At the heart of the campaign, the ‘virtual sips’ mechanic combines the drama of a thirst-quenching first sipwith the chance to win millions of feel-good prizes. 

3 phones with Winning Sips screens displayed

Outcome

The uplifting visual identity tapped into a feeling of joy that can be seen across packaging, in-store communications, and in the McDonald’s app. tms built a robust in-app experience which served as a portal to millions of prizes, from instant win food prizes to exclusive Coca-Cola branded merchandise, and up to £10,000 cash. All this was up for grabs following a medium or large soft drink purchase.

Image of McDonald's prizes like Coca-Cola glasses, a bucket hat, and towel

McDonald’s wanted to provide customers with some light hearted fun, and reward them with something extra when they visit us, and what better way of doing that than ‘Winning Sips’.  We look forward to launching four weeks of sipping, slurping and a chance to win.

John McClure
Brand Manager at McDonald’s

Results

3.37+ Million
Prizes claimed
8.2+ Million
Codes played
63% Customers
Say it makes it more fun to go to McDonald’s

tms supports the rollout of McDonald’s recent venture, CosMc’s

CosMc's poster with two drinks on either side of the CosMc's logo

tms is pleased to support the rollout of CosMc’s, a new small-format, beverage-led concept from the McDonald’s universe.   

CosMc’s first test-and-learn location opened in December 2023 in Bolingbrook, Illinois, with approximately 10 CosMc’s pilot locations set to open across the Dallas-Fort Worth and San Antonio metro areas by the end of 2024.  

CosMc’s has tapped into something special and we’re excited about this opportunity to test and learn with the team in what is going to be one of the most exciting brand initiatives of 2024.

Brooke Bohannon
VP, Account Director at tms

Working in close partnership with McDonald’s New Business Ventures team and IAT partners tms and Boxer Brand Design, tms’ embedded brand identity and packaging agency, tapped into their unique areas of expertise to deliver the new food and beverage packaging design, uniform design and merchandise consultation. Furthermore, tms sourced across all three areas and delivered the product photography concept and execution. 

tms and McDonald’s bring Winning Sips back for a second slurp!

Image of 3 Winning Sips cold drink cups

The Winning Sips promotion was bubbling with so much customer enthusiasm at McDonald’s in 2023 that it’s back for another year! Starting on March 13 and running until April 16 in the UK, the optimized Winning Sips 2024 promotion has a new gameplay, giving customers a guaranteed chance to win. 

With the backdrop of the current cost-of-living crisis, tms’ strategy leveraged insights from research on the 2023 campaign to create an integrated campaign full of feel-good moments across various physical and digital touchpoints, from packaging to in-app communications. Introducing new digital elements like “Bonus Sip” to the 2024 campaign keeps consumers engaged and returning to McDonald’s, while also encouraging signups to MyMcDonald’s rewards. 

Image of 3 phone screens in the Winning Sips page of McDonald's app

To play, customers simply need to purchase a medium or large size promotional drink from McDonald’s and peel the game piece on the cup to reveal their instant prize of cash or free food. Those who did not win an instant prize will receive a code, allowing them to play via the McDonald’s app for the potential to win other prizes, including up to £10,000 cash, festival tickets, free menu items, and exclusive McDonald’s merchandise.  

McDonald’s and tms partnered with Coca-Cola and McDonald’s to give customers access to more prizes, including exclusive Coca-Cola merchandise, providing people with even more chances to win! 

To elevate the promotion, tms developed a new mechanic for this edition of Winning Sips called “Bonus Sip”. Bonus Sips allow customers to collect a digital stamp each time customers enter a new Winning Sips code in the app – if customers collect 7 stamps, they will unlock 1,500 bonus MyMcDonald’s rewards points. This is enough points for a medium drink, so customers can use these points to unlock another chance to win. 

tms was able to cleverly level-up this campaign for 2024 with the addition of ‘Bonus Sip’ by making this promotion even more rewarding for customers and encouraging them to return. We are excited to see the continued success of Winning Sips for the second year in a row. 

Stephanie Storey
Business Director at tms

Working cross-functionally, tms utilized our technology, marketing, and sourcing capabilities to execute the creative concepts, in-app experiences, digital communications, packaging, and merchandise. The cups themselves were used as a promotional vehicle, a creative way to visually dial-up generosity and dramatize the thirst-quenching rush of a customer’s first sip through in-app virtual sips to win millions of feel-good prizes.  

For readers in the UK, make sure to visit your local McDonald’s, and sign up for MyMcDonald’s Rewards in the McDonald’s app to reap the full benefits of Winning Sips! 

Squishmallows Happy Meal® continued its musical adventure at McDonald’s US

The Squishmallows Happy Meal poster with the logo, Happy Meal Box, and squishmallows toys surrounding

Squishmallows have travelled to many different McDonald’s around the globe and completed one of their final stops in the US earlier this year! The Squishmallows Happy Meal® ran from December 26 to January 22, featuring fun-loving characters with their own unique music playlists. 

The campaign contained twelve Squishmallows characters, including two US exclusive characters from McDonaldland, Grimace and the Hamburglar – each equipped with their own curated music playlist. Customers were invited to try and collect all plush toys in their region each with their own unique tags that provide insight into the toys’ personalities and music tastes. Customers could then scan the QR code from the box which directed them to happymeal.com and revealed the Squishmallows’ personalized playlists!  

The Squishmallows Happy Meal® has taken the world by storm. We were excited to bring the program to our millions of fans in the US with fun new ways to collect and connect with the Squishmallows brand.

Gerhard Runken
Executive Vice President, Brand & Marketing at Jazwares

The Squishmallows US Happy Meal® was part of a global campaign which started in 2023, with Latin America concluding the adventure in February. Outside of the US, the digital campaign ran in Europe, Australia, and the APMEA regions. Different toy renditions were available in certain parts of the world, and playlists contained as many as three songs in countries where the digital elements were accesible. 

To add to the Squishmallows fun, each US playlist contained two songs, courtesy of our licensing partner, Universal Music Group, who sourced the songs and secured their rights. Partnering with McDonald’s, tms was responsible for the digital activation of the campaign, and we created a digital mechanic using facial recognition technology to identify the Squishmallows and automatically direct customers to the appropriate playlist, allowing them to virtually jam out with their cuddly companions.

Seeing the globe’s reaction to the Happy Meal Squishmania and knowing the US market was eagerly awaiting the Happy Meal® x Squish drop really got the team excited to work on this program! Transforming the iconic red box into part of the Squish Squad made this brand collab feel complete for fans and ownable to Happy Meal. Such a fun and adorable program to work on! 

Reneé Virgo
Creative Director at tms

To promote the campaign in store, tms designed and produced distinctive packaging elements. Our embedded brand identity and packaging design agency Boxer Brand Design created three different Happy Meal® boxes which all feature various Squishmallows motifs.

Another unique element we produced, outside of the actual plush toys, were opaque poly bags to hide the Squishmallows’ identities, creating an element of surprise and delight for customers once they opened their Happy Meal®. Lastly, we developed an extensive retail communications POP kit for the program including retail posters, merchandise inserts, activity sheets, and more!

Learn more about our previous Squishmallows Autumn and Squishmallows Halloween Happy Meal® campaigns on our website. 

Huhtamaki, in collaboration with tms, wins 2024 FPA Innovation Award

Image of the recipients and presenters of the awards posing in front of the FPA logo at the awards ceremony.

We’re happy to announce that the McDonald’s Delivery Cuff, jointly developed by tms and our supplier partner, Huhtamaki, has just received the UK Foodservice Packaging Association (FPA) Innovation Award. The FPA Product Innovation Awards were held at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, UK and recognized excellence in new innovative products created in the last 18 months. The awards were held at the Grand Hotel in Brighton, England on March 7. 

This award recognized the exceptional dedication and ingenuity of the Product Development Team and all those involved in crafting this innovative solution including our supplier partner, Huhtamaki. It not only met our client’s and customer’s needs, but also takes us one step further in helping McDonald’s achieve its 2025 Brand Goals.

Ursula Ostrom
Managing Director, Global Category Management Services at tms

Huhtamaki specifically won the Production Innovation – Front of House Award for McDonald’s Delivery Cuff. The Cuff is a revolutionary food delivery sealing solution created through a partnership between Huhtamaki, McDonald’s and tms, driven by McDonald’s need to enhance the security and sustainability of food deliveries. Composed of folded paper carton board and two adhesive strips on the reverse for tamper evidence, the Cuff is an effective solution for the secure delivery of McDelivery items. 

The final solution highlights the great open partnership between McDonald’s, Huhtamaki, and tms teams that enables a product to go from concept to commercialization in a very short development period.

Haydn Morgan
Senior Director Packaging & Growth Platforms at tms

tms and Huhtamaki are proud to supply the future of food delivery with Delivery Cuff where sustainability meets functionality for an unparalleled customer experience. This award serves as recognition for the circular and inventive solutions Huhtamaki and tms provide for McDonald’s and solidifies our spot as industry leaders in packaging. Learn more about the win and other category winners on FPA Awards.  

tms transforms McDonald’s into the anime world of WcDonald’s for latest campaign

WcDonald's retail promotion poster with a drawing of McNuggets and the WcDonald's sauce with the text

McDonald’s is transforming into the anime world of WcDonald’s and flipping customers’ worlds upside down with the introduction of the new WcDonald’s sauce! Running from February 26 to March 24, The WcDonald’s promotion is a global campaign, with an extra digital element available to US customers. The campaign commissioned expert artists from Japan, like Acky Bright, Studio Pierrot, and G Angle to illustrate the featured anime and manga content. Through a blend of weekly anime episodes, manga and immersive experiences, fans will be transported into the epic world of WcDonalds!

This is a groundbreaking campaign for McDonald’s. Partnerships from around the world brought to life an imaginative, energetic new world to be explored and experienced. 

Melinda West
Senior Producer at tms

tms played a pivotal role with lead agency Wieden+Kennedy to make WcDonald’s a reality. As the hero product of the campaign, WcDonald’s sauce is a savory chili sauce sure to have everyone’s tastebuds sizzling with delight! tms’ embedded packaging design agency, Boxer Brand Design, customized the WcDonald’s sauce containers for the occasion, making the packaging pop by adding a metallic, holographic gold background to the sauce lid and using a bright red cup.  

Customers are welcome to add the sauce to any order, but we can contest that the WcDonald’s sauce pairs beautifully with Chicken McNuggets, which have been transformed into Chicken WcNuggets with manga-inspired custom packaging developed in collaboration with artist Acky Bright. In a first for the brand, Boxer helped transform McDonald’s carry-out bags, featuring a manga comic drawn by Bright, but we didn’t stop there. Cups and fry cartons have also been adorned with the soon-to-be iconic WcDonald’s logo. Bright’s manga artwork can also be found on the back of your receipt! 

In order to build a truly immersive customer experience at retail, tms commissioned our own specialized Japanese illustrator, G Angle, to produce illustrated food items like Chicken McNuggets, fries, drinks, and the WcDonald’s sauce that are executed authentic to the Japanese anime style and brings through a whole new approach to showcasing McD food products at the channel. This unique and never done before approach to food illustrations allowed us to create a clear and cohesive visual identity across all retail and digital touchpoints including menu boards, self-ordering kiosks, retail posters, and drive-thru elements. 

tms is also bringing the world of WcDonald’s to life digitally with WcDonalds.coma content-based website dedicated to the program, built by tms. WcDonalds.com gives US customers access to exclusive weekly content like anime episodic shorts and manga chapters, created specifically for the WcDonald’s program by Acky Bright and Studio Pierrot. To maintain as a program traffic driver, WcDonalds.com grants access to the program’s manga chapters and anime episodic shorts to only customers who scan the code on the program’s carryout bags after making a purchase. From there, customers will have full access to watch the anime episodic shorts, read the manga chapters, and learn more about all 22 individual characters featured in the program, including their names, biographies, images and birthdays. 

This promotion only lasts one month, so make sure to go to your local McDonald’s to try the new WcDonald’s sauce. US customers, don’t forget to unlock the digital world of anime and manga content at participating McDonald’s while supplies last!