England Not Lovin’ It Like They Could

Reporter Kate MacArthur of Crain’s Chicago Business writes today:
McDonald’s is giving its new advertising tagline a break in Great Britain.
The fast-food giant declared a two-week hiatus, to have ended Friday, for “I’m lovin’ it” in the United Kingdom. Critics of the campaign from the outset have said the tagline could backfire in markets where poor service or the stigma of junk food make “I’m lovin’ it” a tough sell.
To win over skeptical Britons, Oak Brook-based McDonald’s Corp. launched a new campaign Oct. 15, dubbed “Changes.” The campaign replaces the famous Golden Arches logo with a yellow question mark and carries the line, “McDonald’s. But not as you know it.” Aimed at jolting consumers from an image of the food cultivated by films like “Super Size Me,” the effort preceded a direct-mail campaign to 17 million households touting more healthful menu items and smaller portion sizes. The campaign was crafted by the London office of Chicago-based Leo Burnett.
McDonald’s executives concede that despite launching a sales juggernaut in the U.S., overseas consumers haven’t fallen head over heels for the “I’m lovin’ it” marketing. Yet leadership of the iconic brand is steadfast that its “Changes” campaign is merely the second phase of a two-part push. The first was to reinforce its brand among loyalists; now, it needs to change perceptions among those who aren’t.



About David Burn

I wrote my first ad for a political candidate when I was 17 years old. She won her race and I felt the seductive power of advertising for the first time. Today—after working for seven agencies in five states—I am head of brand strategy and creative at Bonehook in Portland, Oregon.