It turns out McDonald’s isn’t dropping its iconic “I’m lovin’ it” tagline in the US after all.
In fact, it’s embracing it with a new ad campaign that starts rolling out this weekend, along with new in-store, point of sale, packaging and social messaging. It’s all a bid to reinforce that it’s listening to customers—and wants them to love its food as much as the company does.
Tasked with boosting sales and customer engagement, McDonald’s USA Chief Marketing Officer Deborah Wahl is kicking off the new year with a new marketing platform and brand vision that’s based on the belief that “a little more lovin’ can change a lot.”[more]
It’s an upbeat vision and platform that refreshes “I’m lovin’ it” and extends its fourth quarter transparency push to address any negativity—namely, customer concerns about its food, such as what goes into Chicken McNuggets or the McRib sandwich.
As Wahl states in a video about the ninth-ranked Best Global Brand‘s new platform, “McDonald’s is moving from a philosophy of ‘billions served’ to ‘billions heard.’ Today we are working harder than ever to evolve with our customers. We’re on a journey to change the relationship, and conversation. We are listening more, and assuming less. Asking questions, and getting answers.”
A series of US TV ads that start rolling out on Jan. 3rd highlight the recent addition of Cuties clementines as a fresh whole fruit option (in addition to sliced apples) in Happy Meals; the ingredients that go into each “unapologetic” Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese; the freshly-cracked egg that forms the basis of each Egg McMuffin; and an “Archenemies” (get it?) spot that urges the viewer to “Choose Lovin'” over hatin’.
New packaging (at top) and point-of-sale materials (below) now rolling out to its US restaurants emphasize the new positioning, one that Wahl says extends on the recent transparency campaign that answered questions about its food.
More details on the new brand positioning from the press release:
What: McDonald’s is reigniting its famous tagline – “i’m lovin’ it” – by introducing a new platform that puts more focus on lovin’. This new focus will inspire everything we do moving forward, from advertising and marketing to how we interact with customers in restaurants and on social media.
Why: Why not? We recognize, and our customers do too, all the negativity that surrounds daily life and we are choosing to celebrate lovin’ more. 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.
When and How: McDonald’s legacy was built on providing special moments for families. Today we’re working harder than ever to evolve with our customers. We’re moving from a philosophy of “billions served” to “billions heard.”
Our brand’s renewed focus on lovin’ will come to life in ways that inspire people to recognize and celebrate the lovin’ they share with each other every day.
Starting in 2015 our customers will see and feel the difference from the new uniforms our crew members are sporting to new packaging and signage in restaurants, as well as how we engage with them and their communities nationwide.
National TV and digital ads will begin airing Jan. 3 created by global ad agency Leo Burnett and supported by partnering agencies.
In social media, McDonald’s owned channels will be more actively listening and communicating with our customers, much like “Our Food. Your Questions.” that launched in late 2014 to answer questions about our food.
For McDonald’s this is about a journey, and not a destination. Each step along the way will unveil a little more lovin’ across all our efforts and in our restaurants. And each day, we hope to do our part to put just a little more lovin’ in the world because a little more lovin’ can change a lot.
Below, the transcript of a video featuring Wahl explaining the new campaign and brand positioning:
“Hi everyone and happy 2015. I’m so excited to share some details about what’s happening at McDonald’s today. It’s what I call a brand transformation.
First, I know I haven’t met many of you yet so a little about me. I’m a hockey mom; I’m a Motor City gal, proudly from Detroit; and I’ve worked in many industries including banking, healthcare, auto and home building.
In my 20 years as a marketer, I’ve formed working philosophies. First, we must keep the customer at the center of all decisions. Second, a focus on powerful ideas has more impact than relentless activity. And third, one of my favorite quotes: “Never best, always better.”
Now, I share these philosophies because they shape the vision for the journey we’re on at McDonald’s—in particular, the point about powerful ideas.
A powerful idea changes how we think, feel, act and what we do. It’s everything. We’ve made some changes about how we engage, knowing that engagement leads to customer experience.
McDonald’s is moving from a philosophy of “billions served” to “billions heard.” Today we are working harder than ever to evolve with our customers. We’re on a journey to change the relationship, and conversation. We are listening more, and assuming less. Asking questions, and getting answers.
Let’s dig into the new campaign.
Ray Kroc, McDonald’s founder, declared from the start: “We are not in the hamburger business. We are in the people business.” We love serving burgers, but at our core, McDonald’s has always been about serving people. And when you serve people, it means you must listen to them.
We started with the “Our food. Your questions” program. We’re having an open, transparent dialogue with our customers. We haven’t shied away from the hard questions, more than 20,000 so far, in fact. And most importantly, we’re answering them with action.
Today we’re hearing parents want healthier options for their kids, so we put fresh fruit—like those little delicious Cuties—in our Happy Meals.
We’re hearing people want more customized choices, so we’re building a Create Your Taste platform to deliver that.
We’re hearing people want things simple and easy, so we are focusing our menu on what customers love most.
So keep talking, and we’ll keep listening.
For the last 10 years, everything we’ve done has been summed up with three words: “I’m lovin’ it.”
“Lovin'” sits at the heart of our tagline and it sits at the heart of our business. We are putting lovin’ into everything we do: our food, our restaurants, our people, and most importantly, our communities. And we’re going to tell our customers about it.
We started with Cuties in Happy Meals, we’re going to show some lovin’ to our iconic Big Mac and Quarter Pounder with Cheese, and because of the growing importance of farm-to-table, we’re going to make sure that our customers know that every Egg McMuffin is made with a freshly cracked egg.
We believe that a little more loving can change a lot—even the world we live in. Lately, the balance of lovin’ and hatin’ seems off. Who better to stand up for loving than McDonald’s? Over the next few months, we are reigniting the lovin’ that’s been at the heart of our brand since the very beginning.
That’s the journey we’re on, billions served to billions heard. We are working harder than ever to evolve with our customers.
I’m looking forward to keep the conversation going with all of you, and I hope you all agree that a little more lovin’ can change a lot.”