MCDONALD'S GLOBAL CAMPAIGN TO DEBUT IN EUROPE

New Worldwide Marketing Effort Will Hit U.S. Later

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CHICAGO (AdAge.com) -- McDonald's Corp. yesterday said it will unveil its new "I'm Loving' It" marketing campaign
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in Europe -- rather than the U.S. -- on Sept. 2.

Executives told reporters that the U.S. part of the new global campaign won't begin until Sept. 29. They indicated the move was part of a "borderless" marketing strategy that evolved from a two-month idea competition among the top 14 advertising agencies in 10 countries.

American icon
"Let's be frank, we are an American icon," said Charlie Bell, McDonald's president and chief operating officer. "But what we are is 'multi-local.' We're getting rid of the NIH factor, meaning 'not invented here.' "

"Advertising will be the glue of the global campaign for both external and internal audiences," said Dean Barrett, McDonald's senior vice president for global brand business. While calling the process fluid, he shared some of the decisions already made. After convening meetings with 100 creative directors and production companies at the Cannes International Film Festival in June, McDonald's has chosen London-based director James Brown to lead its effort. He is best known for his work for Nike and Ikea.

Mr. Barrett said Omnicom Group-owned Heye & Partners of Unterhaching, Germany, which came up with the "I'm Lovin' It" theme, will create a pool of five TV commecials that launch the campaign. He said regional agencies, including U.S. agencies DDB Worldwide, part of Omnicom, and Leo Burnett Worldwide, part of Publicis Groupe, will create "a lot more."

10 languages
The initial spots will be shot in 10 languages and work is scheduled to begin soon in such hip locales as Rio de Janeiro, Brazil; Johannesburg, South Africa; Singapore and Prague, Czech Republic. Up to a dozen media shops are also doing work to make sure the media and messaging work together.

"Surprise is a key part of this campaign," Mr. Barrett said. "The idea is to take the phrase 'I'm lovin' it' to new heights." He said the company wants the phrase to become part of pop culture, incorporated into sports, fashion, music and entertainment.

Internet elements
McDonald's global Internet approach includes an "I'm Lovin' It" Web site that will be managed by region to accommodate technological differences around the world. Consumers in other countries are far more advanced than Americans when it comes to their use of technology, which is playing a bigger role in McDonald's marketing, executives said.

"They're multi-tasking in ways we haven't even seen in the U.S." Mr. Barrett said.

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