As an ode to the two hit albums of 11-time Grammy winner Taylor Swift, Filipino Swifties designed Taylor’s Version-inspired “1989″ and “Red” meals and ice cream cone wrapper.
These mockups by Swift fans came after the popularity of McDonald’s BTS Meal in the Philippines since June, which sparked netizens’ interest to recreate their versions of themed meals with widely-known artists.
‘1989 (Taylor’s Version) meal’
Aerolle Sana, an information technology student and graphic designer from Batangas, pioneered the Swift-inspired meal with his take on “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” meal even ahead of the singer’s announcement.
Before Swift announced the release of the re-recorded version of “Red” in November, Sana was among the Swifties who predicted that Taylor would be releasing the “1989 (Taylor’s Version)” after “Fearless (Taylor’s Version).”
But, on June 19, she announced ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ as the next album to be released. With that, I thought of doing something for the 1989 stans (as such myself) and “meal” packages were a trend; thus, I created the mockup,” Sana said in an interview with Interaksyon.
As of writing, Swift has not confirmed any information about the release of the re-recorded version of “1989.”
The fictional meal, as a tie-up with Jollibee, consists of fries, burger, and cups that can be filled with various drinks.
As for the features of the mockup, Sana said he drew inspiration from the “1989” album cover released in 2014.
“The background used on the cups were actually a screenshot image from her “Invisible String” lyric video. The same image has been used in Taylor’s “just a summer thing” cup set, which gives the same vibe from 1989 era (which really made us believe that she will be releasing 1989 Taylor’s Version),” he said, which he made in two hours in one night.
“The photo [cut-off upper half of Taylor’s face] in the cover is from Taylor’s cover shoot for Billboard magazine as ‘Woman of the Decade’,” he added.
The 1989 (Taylor’s Version) meal has reached 41,000 reactions and over 33,000 shares on Facebook as of writing. The post went viral on June 22 which coincided with Sana’s 19th birthday.
“It’s just heartwarming to see people appreciate my work. I have seen my classmates, professors, former teachers, friends share the photo without knowing I was the one who edited it. It’s just a fun experience to reach such a big audience,” he said.
The trend of creating different designs for fast food meals, he said, serves as a “fun and creative freedom” and “tribute” for something one adores is a “pleasure.”
‘Red (Taylor’s Version) limited edition Cornetto ice cream’
Sana also edited a “Red (Taylor’s Version)” limited edition Cornetto ice cream as a “throwback for the promo” the ice cream m brand did during Swift’s Red Tour Manila in 2014.
“I just thought it would be a great throwback to those fun times. The ice cream was from a free mockup I saw online. The design was just a revamp [w]ith the inclusion of Red (Taylor’s Version) album cover,” he said.
Other designs made by Sana can be viewed here.
‘Red (Taylor’s Version) meal’
Jan Ella Brillantes, a communication and media studies student from the University of the Philippines Visayas, made a mockup of “Red (Taylor’s Version)” meal three days after Swift announced the re-recorded version of her fourth studio album.
“I first saw Aerolle Sana’s 1989 x Jollibee edit and I thought that maybe I should make a Red (Taylor’s Version) x McDonald’s version since Taylor recently announced the release date of the album,” Brillantes told Interaksyon.
The fictional meal includes medium-sized fries, a medium-sized drink, and a chicken sandwich.
Brillantes said she incorporated several details from Swift’s life (like what McDonald’s did with the two sauces of the BTS meal) while making the mockup of the fictional themed meal.
“I’m a bit meticulous with my work so I actually planned out what I should include in the meal before editing. [I] took inspiration from her hometown Nashville. I did some research and found out that there was an actual thing called Nashville Hot Chicken Sandwich,” she said.
Her goal was “to make it look as realistic as possible (to the point that it could pass off as an actual McDonald’s ad)” to test her creative skills.
The “Red (Taylor’s Version)” meal, which was reposted by a fan page, earned 4,100 likes and 678 shares on Facebook.
“The ‘Red’ Meal was actually my first try on package designing so I’m really glad that a lot of people liked it. It took me a few hours to create the whole meal, and I feel really validated when they say, ‘I thought this was real,’” she said.
She said the BTS meal attracted graphic designers and artists to follow the trend of making mockup meals.
“I think it’s because of the popularity that the BTS Meal has achieved and maybe these other graphic designers have their own fandoms (or saw others) that inspired them to recreate their own,” she said.
Both Sana and Brillantes have been fans since Taylor’s early eras in the music industry.
“I don’t really have a definite timeline on when I became a Swiftie. Since elementary school, I have been listening to her songs,” Sana said.
“But, quarantine really brought me closer to her with her new albums ‘folklore’ and ‘evermore.’ Her music really just speaks to me. With her poetic touch in her lyricism, what’s not to adore,” he added.
Brillantes said she has been a fan of Swift since 2009.
“I was only 8 years old and in third grade back then. I can’t really remember how but I ended up hearing ‘Love Story’ and I absolutely loved it. I also remember watching the ‘You Belong With Me’ music video over and over and again,” she said.
In August 2020, Swift was impressed by the cakes made by two Filipino fans inspired by her critically acclaimed album “Folklore.”
Rebranding fast food meals in collaboration with musicians
While the BTS meal is considered the first globally launched campaign, this is not the first time Mcdonald’s has collaborated with other musical artists.
Colombian singer J Balvin also released his own meal with Mcdonald’s in October 2020.
The BTS meal was first launched on May 27 (May 26 in U.S.) in selected countries, including South Korea and the United States.
— McDonald’s (@McDonalds) April 19, 2021
Like Scott’s and Balvin’s meals, Mcdonald’s also dropped a merch line following the collaboration with BTS on Weverse Shop app.
The BTS meal, which arrived in the Philippines on June 18, features the band’s go-to orders: 10-piece Chicken McNuggets, medium fries, medium Coca-Cola, and Sweet Chili and Cajun dipping sauces.
McDonald’s Philippines also revealed that they have sold 3.5 million pieces of chicken nuggets during its launch day alone.