The theme: "Get back with Big Mac."
The three-week campaign will begin Sept. 14, and is backed by national TV from DDB Needham Worldwide, Chicago. The spots likely will include an updated version of the 1975 "Two All-Beef Patties" jingle co-written by DDB Needham Worldwide Chairman-CEO Keith Reinhard.
Separately, DDB Needham last week named John Staffen, group creative director on its recently lost New York State Lottery account, to the new position of group creative director on McDonald's. He will report to Bob Scarpelli, vice chairman-chief creative officer for the Chicago office.
Mr. Staffen takes on much of the work that had been handled by James Ferguson, chief creative officer of DDB Needham's Dallas office, who will reduce his McDonald's role.
The Big Mac campaign will be supported with in-store marketing materials and '60s-style employee uniforms complete with tie-dye shirts.
`WE'LL LOOK PRETTY CORNY'
"We'll look pretty corny," said an executive with a multi-unit franchisee. But the Big Mac, he added, "is one of our core equities that no one else has."
Mitchell Speiser, a restaurant analyst with Lehman Bros., said anniversary marketing is often a successful strategy.
"Anything to cause a little excitement or nostalgia of a core brand or product has good upside potential," he said.
The promotion comes as McDonald's is showing increases in U.S. same-store sales compared with last year.
For the second quarter ended June 30, McDonald's reported net income of $831 million, up 6% from the prior year.
"It seems like they have stabilized the U.S. business. Now it is a matter of building it and reigniting momentum," Mr. Speiser said.
Contributing: Chuck Ross.