McDonald’s AOR hires Toygar Bazarkaya as CCO

Ari Weiss (seated) and Toygar Bazarkaya

We Are Unlimited, McDonald’s months-old agency of record, finally has its Crew Chief. The agency announced the appointment of Toygar Bazarkaya as its Chief Creative Officer. The international sensation brings over 600 awards, including more than 20 Cannes Lions, to the fledgling agency.

Bazarkaya was most recently CCO of the Americas and Chairman of the Global Creative Council for Havas Worldwide. Under his leadership, Bazarkaya oversaw the work for brands such as IBM, Liberty Mutual, Dos Equis, Sony, TD Ameritrade and Reckitt Benckiser. Less than a year after assuming the CCO of Americas role, Bazarkaya was named to Adweek’s Creative 100 list.

According to an article appearing in The Drum, Bazarkaya represents the first major hire for DDB North America’s CCO, Ari Weiss, since taking the agency reins in February. In a quote, which also appeared in the article, Weiss states, “Toygar is one of those rare creative leaders who moves mountains. He didn’t earn his stripes working in the margins. He does award-winning work that drives real business forward. I can’t wait to see what he does with the Golden Arches.”

Bazarkaya will report directly to Weiss, and lead the agency in partnership with Chief Executive Officer, Brian Nienhaus, and the Unlimited executive team. “I couldn’t ask for a better partner to run Unlimited,” Nienhaus said. “After a comprehensive search to fill this role, Toygar is the far and away best candidate with strength as a creative, a creative leader and a passion for the unique data-informed agency we are building.

Prior to Havas, Bazarkaya spent six years at BBDO New York where he led global brands including Visa, Gillette, Campbell’s, HP, Mars and MLB. Before that, Bazarkaya was the CCO of BBDO Germany, where he helped the agency become the country’s most awarded network at the 2008 Cannes Festival.

Throughout his career, Bazarkaya gained extensive experience building brands in global markets, having worked at Jung von Matt and Springer & Jacoby in Hamburg, DM9DDB in São Paulo, Mullen in Boston, and DDB New York.

In 2016, McDonald’s revealed that after two years of splitting its advertising assignments between Leo Burnett and DDB Chicago, they decided to pit Publicis against Omnicom in a “Batman vs Superman-esque” battle for the burger.

Omnicom won and launched We Are Unlimited, which has already released an infectious hip-hop campaign to promote the Big Mac’s availability in three sizes (“There’s a Big Mac for that”) and more recently rolled out ads starring Mindy Kaling in which she asks viewers to Google “that place where Coke tastes so good.”

“We Are Unlimited is a game changer,” Bazarkaya said in his own statement. He added,” …because it’s an integrated model with people all working toward the same ambitions. Great things happen when the best from every discipline collaborate with one common goal and one voice… I couldn’t be more excited to join the team.”

Bazarkaya’s arrival comes on the heels of news earlier this month of Morgan Flatley replacing Deborah Wahl as McDonald’s CMO. He begins May 15.

LA-Based Colin Costello writes for film, TV, advertising and of course, Reel Chicago. Follow him on Twitter @colincostello10.