"All across our system, our marketing leaders and agencies in the
U.S., Europe, [Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa], Latin
America, and Canada, we're building on our multibillion-dollar
asset -- 'I'm Lovin It' -- and making it even better," Ms. Dillon
told the audience, according to prepared remarks. "We're bringing
it out from behind the arches and into the action to better brand
and celebrate those uniquely McDonald's moments." New spots end
with the tagline appearing by itself, and the arches appearing
"Even more importantly," Ms. Dillon continued, "we're making
sure that we build both brand equity and drive sales with every
piece of advertising." She described an approach that's more
authentic, more saturated in consumer insights and emotion, and
within "a framework that gives us a consistent point of view about
Besides, with different iterations in 117 countries and dozens
of languages, wholesale changes are very expensive. "Launching and
seeding awareness of a new tagline is a major financial
undertaking," Ms. Dillon said. "You'd have to be very sure that you
needed to do that" to ensure future success of the business.
Lifting the bar on global creative
While news of the upcoming reboot sparked speculation that
McDonald's may be scrapping the campaign and starting fresh, Ms.
Dillon said the campaign was still working, and so she charged the
chain's biggest agency partners with making it better. Those
included in the huddle: Omnicom's DDB Worldwide, TBWA and OMD; Publicis Groupe's Leo Burnett Worldwide, Publicis,
Brazil's Taterka (in which Publicis owns a 5% stake), and
independent Cossette in Canada.
The result is advertising expected to lift the bar on McDonald's
creative around the world, said Mark Tutssel, global chief creative
officer, Leo Burnett Worldwide. The work also appears to be
funnier, more emotional and better grounded in a storyline.
McDonald's: Proud Papa
For example, a Leo Burnett spot for the U.S. market sure to
garner attention features a father bear treating his cub son to
McDonald's after getting all A's on his report card (subjects
include fishing and mangling). For them, that means using the cub
as a decoy to attract a passing car so the father can then scare
the passengers away. The pair eats McDonald's french fries that the
tourists had been munching on along their scenic drive. There's
even a lesson: Papa bear shakes the car to get a stray fry from the
floorboard, and then tosses the vehicle. "There's always an extra
fry at the bottom," he said.
And while this is a different take on what's been McDonald's
everyday communication, Mr. Tutssel said it communicates key points
such as family bonding, and fun with food. It also helps with
unenviable task of getting marketing up to speed with the "I'm
Lovin' It" promise.
Another U.S. spot, from DDB, depicts a woman returning from a
trip, looking for her boyfriend in the airport, but spotting
another man with a bag of McDonald's. When her boyfriend arrives,
with flowers, she is polishing off her meal with the stranger. She
looks at him and shrugs contentedly.
Yesterday, McDonald's reported first-quarter earnings that
confounded Wall Street expectations, while same-store grew 3%
globally, and surged 2% in the U.S. Ms. Dillon said she and her
team take this as a sign that the advertising is doing what it's
supposed to do.
~ ~ ~
CORRECTION: An earlier
version of this story incorrectly identified quarterly same-store
sales increases. The increase was 2%, not 6%.
McDonald's: Big Mac World Chant