McDonald's U.S. CMO Discusses All Day Breakfast Effort

As Oct. 6 Approaches, New Elements of McDonald's Campaign Begin

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McDonald's is staging a major rollout of advertising from multiple agencies, along with digital elements including GIFs, Snapchat filters and a Twitter relay, as it gears up for Tuesday's national launch of All Day Breakfast.

The company announced the rollout of All Day Breakfast on Sept. 1 in a variety of ways, including a massive number of directed tweets, and has continued to reach out on the social media platform. Now, it has started to air commercials as the Oct. 6 launch draws near.

The effort includes commercials from Leo Burnett in the days leading up to the launch and other spots from Leo Burnett's team during the first week. Then, the work switches over to three weeks of spots from DDB. McDonald's will also air spots from three multicultural agencies: Alma, Burrell and IW.

McDonald's U.S. Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl, who has called the rollout "the people's launch," spoke with Ad Age about the various aspects of the campaign.

"It really is one of the biggest platforms that we've launched in quite a long time," said Ms. Wahl, listing everything from taking the Twitter messaging into TV spots to partnering with Threadless to allow consumers to create t-shirts, bags and other merchandise with All Day Breakfast themes. "It shows the breadth of what we're working on here and the fact that we think there are a lot of people who are going to engage on everything."

Leo Burnett's spots continue the theme of fans reacting on social media, while taking it to a TV audience:

Advertising Age Player

Later in the campaign, work from DDB highlights the food and continues the All Day theme:

Advertising Age Player

Spots from Burrell Communications, McDonald's agency for African American work, star the teams from the D.L. Hughley and Tom Joyner radio shows:

Advertising Age Player

McDonald's, in a prolonged sales slump, is eager to see fans flock to its restaurants at all hours for Egg McMuffins and other breakfast items. Other chains have stepped up their breakfast efforts to try to lure customers even before McDonald's full rollout. White Castle, for example, launched its own all-day breakfast effort on Sept. 10, just nine days after McDonald's announcement.

An excerpt of AdAge's conversation with Ms. Wahl follows, edited for length and clarity.

Ad Age: Why have Leo Burnett and DDB do something different, why not carry the message throughout?

Ms. Wahl: I think what we're looking at is how are we really celebrating the people's launch. We don't look at it as one lead agency or not. It's sort of let's look together, what are the best ideas that we're all doing. Because we're all working on the same business, for the same goals, and where do we go with it. And there was a lot of work to be done, frankly. So when there's a lot of work, it's great to have a lot of very, very talented people able to share that. … It's really just using all those insights and all the commentary we got from people about what they're looking for from our all day breakfast.

Ad Age: Can you talk about the budget for this? You did mention this is one of the biggest launches for the company in some time.

Ms. Wahl: We're launching it in October, but you will see this as a continually advertised platform through all of next year, actually, because it's that's important, and we see that much potential opportunity for people who really want to make breakfast an anytime occasion. When we talk about it being significant, it's far more than just what's happening in this month and it has real potential to grow.

Ad Age: Can you break down how much of this push is going to be digital and how much will be through traditional media?

Ms. Wahl: This constant always on level of digital continues to ramp up. So it becomes a very significant portion. I can't give you a specific breakdown but it's continuing to play a larger portion of everything that we do.

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