McDonald's Becomes 'WcDonald's' To Lure Anime Fans

'WcDonald’s,' a longtime anime in-joke, will come to life in McDonald's latest promotion.

After first expanding its promotional universe with an alien-inspired spinoff restaurant, McDonald's is again diving into another world. The chain has announced that the McDonald's brand will be expanding into the anime world by bringing fictional restaurant WcDonald's to life.


"WcDonald's" is the Golden Arches' anime counterpart, a jokey stand-in for the real restaurant's branding when it can't be legally used in works of fiction. WcDonald's restaurants are often featured in popular anime shows and manga franchises. Think Pizza Planet from Toy Story, or how the kids on Nickelodeon shows had Pear electronics instead of Apple ones. There's also a fake brand of potato chips, Let's, designed by a Hollywood prop house to appear across a number of TV shows. WcDonald's is like that, but now the real inspiration is getting in on the gag.

"Anime is a huge part of today's culture, and we love that our fans have been inviting us into the conversation for years," Tariq Hassan, Chief Marketing and Customer Experience Officer at McDonald's USA, said in the announcement. Popular anime shows and manga series like Digimon Savers and Assassination Classroom have featured WcDonald's.


As part of the collaboration, McDonald's will be revamping its packaging for a limited time to feature manga-inspired artwork from Japanese illustrator Acky Bright. The packaging will showcase WcDonald's crew characters also brought to life by Bright's sketch work. Plus, beginning on February 26, customers who purchase McDonald's food with the packaging can scan a QR code to access weekly drops of a manga with WcDonald's crew characters and customers.

McDonald's will expand the WcDonald's universe even further by dropping weekly anime shorts in tandem with the manga. The anime shorts were created in collaboration with animation house Studio Pierrot and are meant to pay homage to different subgenres of anime, including romance, action, mecha, and fantasy.

And of course, there will be food. In addition to creating original anime and manga worlds, McDonald's is also dropping a new sauce to fully bring the fictional brand into the real world. The new Savory Chili WcDonald's Sauce features a combination of ginger, garlic, soy, and chili flakes and will only be available for a limited time.

The real-life McDonald's will also be turning one of its locations into a WcDonald's on March 9 and 10 in Los Angeles. The immersive dining experience will include 360 projection mapping with immersive tabletop projections and a set menu of WcDonald's food. Those who want to snag a table can reserve a spot on OpenTable starting February 28 by searching "WcDonald's Immersive Dining Experience" on the OpenTable app or website.


Animated foods always have a way of looking better than the real-life stuff, so now's the chance to see if it tastes better, too.