If you were McDonald's, would you tinker with a Big Mac? And if your sales just climbed 10% in this stink-bag of an economy, would you dump the ad campaign that was partially responsible? We didn't think so. Neither did the Golden Arches.
McDonald's unveiled its "new" campaign this week -- and it's one that we're all quite familiar with. After seven years, the "I'm Lovin' It" campaign is the longest-running ditty in the fast food giant's portfolio, according to Crain's Chicago Business. Be ready to hear that "Da-da-da-da-dah" in your head for at least several more months. The inevitable axe that befell McDonald's previous Madison Avenue hits, "You Deserve a Break Today" and "Food, Folks and Fun," isn't going to come crashing down on "I'm Lovin' It" just yet.
Chief Marketing Officer Mary Dillon gave 15,000 franchise owners and suppliers in Chicago a Super Size helping of marketing speak about building brand equity "saturated in consumer insights and emotion." For us french fry fanatics, it just means that the company wants to keep warming our hearts in a similar way so we keep buying at a similar rate. The refurbished strategy is cost-efficient, too, she said, because of the Tower of Babel-sized obstacles to be navigated in translating an entirely new message for the 117 countries where McDonald's advertises.
In a rebuke of the overly clever, McDonald's opted for "ahhh, ain't that cute" chuckles in two of the spots. In one, a father keeps whispering his order into the drive-through as he circles around and around, not stopping so he doesn't wake his motor-lullabayed baby in the backseat. A second features a father bear celebrating his cub's straight-A report card by scaring a family into ditching their car -- and their McDonald's lunch. He then picks up the car to shake the last fry out of the vehicle for his son. A third ad plays like one of those old Benetton ads, except with burgers. It follows the young and beautiful on the go awhile they recite the Big Mac jingle ("Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun ...") in their own language. All of this culminates into a "We are the World" moment at a beach concert.
If clinging to the familiar seems too safe, just remember how McDonald's became McDonald's. You could walk into any Golden Arches and be reasonably sure that the Quarter Pounder you ordered in Peoria will taste much the same as one in Tokyo. It's comforting. It's cheap. And for many of us, it's part of our FDA Pyramid-defying lives.
Perhaps it doesn't take talking bears to get us to the counter, but whatever it is, it's working. And McDonald's is lovin' it.
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