With a new brand refresh and ad campaign, McDonald’s is, according to CMO Deborah Wahl, on a “journey…to reignite lovin’.”
Despite challenging times for the brand, McDonald’s isn’t forsaking it’s “I’m Lovin’ It” line. In fact, with its new ad campaign (or “brand transformation,” as Wahl calls it), the company is emphasizing the lovin’ aspect, with creative that emphasizes positivity, and a promise to put the customer first. Take the company’s new anthem ad, “Archenemies.” The whimsical cartoon features traditional enemies who fall madly in love over their mutual desire for McDonald’s. Freddie Krueger offers Jason Voorhees some chicken McNuggets. A Packers’ fan offers a Bears’ fan some fries and Smurfette offers Gargamel some apple slices (a.k.a “cuties”). There’s even a democratic donkey running into the arms of a republican elephant. The ad is set to the song “Love is Endless” by MoZella (the songwriter who co-wrote Miley Cyrus’s “Wrecking Ball”).
The rebranding, spearheaded by Chicago agency Leo Burnett, comes at a time when McDonald’s has seen its worst sales decline in over a decade and is struggling to appeal to teens and twenty-somethings.
The new brand push signals the brand’s move to recognize shifts in the food marketplace and to position itself as a more modern, and consumer-centric company. “McDonald’s is moving from a philosophy of billions served to billions heard,” says Wahl, in the video. She also says, (with a perhaps unintentional menace) “We love serving burgers but at our core, McDonald’s has always been about serving people,” while nodding to the brand’s efforts like introducing customizable food with the “create your taste” platform.
The new ad push will also reportedly include a Super Bowl appearance and, as noted by the company in a statement, even more emphasis on social listening. Beyond ads, the company also says the brand refresh will also manifest in “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.”