McDonald’s Unveils First Global Marketing Strategy

12 June 2003

McDonald’s on Wednesday unveiled its first ever global marketing initiative – “I’m lovin’ it”.

The tagline and theme will be handed to the burger behemoth’s myriad agencies around the globe to adapt for local markets, replacing the patchwork of different campaigns and slogans currently run across 118 countries.

Due to last at least two years, the strategy is the latest attempt to resuscitate McDonald’s after a dismal few months – earlier this year, it posted its first quarterly loss [WAMN: 27-Jan-03]. Unveiling the tagline, global chief marketing officer Larry Light said it “is all about the revitalization of the McDonald’s brand, with a global burst of instant energy.”

“I’m lovin’ it” is the brainchild of Heye & Partners in Unterhaching, Germany, an agency owned by Omnicom Group and affiliated with DDB Worldwide that has been on the McDonald’s roster for over thirty years. It follows a four-month brainstorming involving fourteen of the group’s shops to find ads “people like, respect, admire and favor” [WAMN: 10-Feb-03].

However, the new strategy does not mean a shifting of agency assignments. Continued Light: “We made it very clear that we weren't evaluating advertising agencies, we were evaluating creative ideas.”

The marketing boss added that McDonald’s adspend – an estimated $1.3 billion (€1.1bn; £0.8bn) a year globally – would remain unchanged.

“I’m lovin’ it” will now be developed by local agencies in preparation for launch in the autumn.

Data sourced from: multiple sources; additional content by WARC staff