McDonald's are starting 2015 with a complete “Brand transformation” based around the immortal “I'm lovin it” strategy. The transformation hopes to stem haemorrhaging sales for the fast food brand, and instil a more upbeat and positive association with new packaging and signage, as well as a comprehensive animated ad campaign from Leo Burnett. There had been a lot of negativity surrounding the brand in 2014, and previous efforts have thus far proven ineffective in changing customer concerns over the restaurant's nutritional value (or lack thereof) and its influence over younger diners. This fresh promotional push will focus on “Positivity,” with the message to be embedded in all of the brand's communications throughout 2015 and beyond.
The transformation hopes to stem haemorrhaging sales for the fast food brand, and instil a more upbeat and positive association
The animated Leo Burnett ad shows famous arch enemies such as Batman and the Joker coming together and sorting their differences over a shared love of McDonald's. The ad builds around the phrase, “Choose Lovin,” which is a new spin on the generic “I'm loving it” tag. The old tag will remain at the end of the ad, dispelling rumours that the brand would be ditching the tagline it's built into a pop culture behemoth over the last decade. According to McDonald's chief marketing officer, Deborah Wahl, the new phrase marks a “Reignition” of the mantra, which she hopes will help consumers associate the brand with love, hope, and the rejection of the negativity that surrounds us.
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The ad and new packaging will be reinforced by a string of product-based ads that take a more playful tone, and a new approach to social media advertising, with the brand using their channels to talk to customers about their products in a similar manner to last year's “Our Food. Your Questions” campaign. In all, the tactic appears to see the brand which is universally beloved and despised in equal measure, attempting to foster good will in a way which avoids the transparency issues that McDonald's has suffered from in the past.
The ad and new packaging will be reinforced by a string of product-based ads that take a more playful tone, and a new approach to social media advertising
Wahl believes that McDonald's is “In a unique position to use its scale to bring back the positivity with more uplifting content and conversations in the lovin’ spirit.” She adds that the brand's legacy “Was built on providing special moments for families,” and says they are “Working harder than ever to evolve” with their customers” by moving from a philosophy of, “Billions served to billions heard.” She adds; “We are putting lovin’ into everything we do: our food, our restaurants, our people, and most importantly our community.”
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The campaign will initially run in the US, but is expected to expand globally, forming a worldwide pillar around which to rebuild the brand after a year of steadily dwindling sales. The revival has seen the company parachute in new talent such as Wahl and chief customer officer, Fred Ehle, and pump additional funds into technology, with the gradual installation of supermarket style self-service kiosks in some restaurants, as well as a new mobile click-and-collect service. Whether or not it will be enough to save the slowly sinking ship remains to be seen, but we wouldn't choose to bet against what remains the world's largest fast food chain.