Can't we all just get along? McDonald's thinks so—and pushes global harmony hard in its new brand campaign, which refreshes the long-running "I'm lovin' it" tagline by putting more focus on the lovin'.
The animated launch ad from Leo Burnett is called "Archenemies," and features pop-culture foes suddenly finding peace. We get cameos from Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West; Wile E. Coyote and the Road Runner; Pacman and Ghost; Batman and the Joker; Bears and Packers; etc.—all of whom are in a remarkably forgiving mood. (Even Democrats and Republicans are seen embracing, so, you know, don't take the message too literally.)
"Choose Lovin', " says on-screen text, followed by "I'm lovin' it."
McDonald's has never really leaned that hard into the idea of love—not like Coke has done lately with happiness, for instance. It's often focused on the "I'm" and "it" parts of the line instead of the "lovin' " part. But the brand thinks the time is right for a shift.
"We recognize, and our customers do too, all the negativity that surrounds daily life and we are choosing to celebrate lovin' more," it says in a statement. "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."
More than anything, "Archenemies" feels like Oreo's "Wonderfilled" launch spot from a couple of years back—just with more subdued animation and a cute though not-quite-as-catchy tune. (Here it's the 2010 track "Love Is Endless" by Mozella.)
Of course, McDonald's carries a lot of baggage that can get in the way of this message of love. (Put more bluntly, a lot of people hate McDonald's.) But the brand feels like it's on to something here. The refresh will include new uniforms, new packaging, new signage in restaurants and a new focus on being more responsive in social media—which is in line with the transparency campaign it's been running lately.
"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," the brand says. (This doesn't mean always being sappy or soft-sell, either. Another newly released spot, for the Big Mac, posted below, immediately takes a playful dig at vegetarians—and couldn't be more product focused.)
Can "I'm lovin' it" really become "We're all lovin' each other"? It's a gamble for a brand with so many haters. But bringing the tagline into better focus could unlock some interesting creative ideas. Here's hoping they're wonderfilled.
Agency: Leo Burnett
See full credits at the bottom of this story.
The Big Mac spot:
McDonald's U.S. CMO Deborah Wahl explains the brand refresh:
Agency: Leo Burnett
Campaign: "A Little More Lovin' Can Change a Lot"
Chief Creative Officer: Susan Credle
Executive Creative Director: John Hansa
Creative Director: Tony Katalinic
Interactive Creative Director:
ACD/Copywriter: Jonathan Fussell
ACD/Art Director: Robin Laurens
Group Executive Producer: Denis Giroux
Senior Producer: Bridget Rose
Account Director: Jennifer Cacioppo
Account Supervisor: Jennifer Klopf
Account Executive: Krystle Wahnschaffe
Planning Director: Sarah Patterson
Strategist: Claudia Steer
Production Company: Buck TV
Buck Executive Creative Director: Ryan Honey
Buck Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
Buck Sr Producer : Nick Terzich
Buck Coordinators: Kaitlyn Mahoney, Anica Cramer
Buck Creative Director: Josh Harvey
Buck ACD: Jenny Ko
Buck Animation Designer: Ariel Da Costa
Buck Designers: Yuki Yamada, Gunnar Pettersson, XoanaHerrera, Jenny Ko, Kenesha Sneed, Trevor Conrad, Joe Mullen
Buck Animators: Ariel Da Costa, Esteban Esquivo, Tak Hosogane, Nick Petley, Daniel Couthino, Chris Anderson, Moses Journey, Justin Mays, Alex Perry
Music: "Love Is Endless" Performed by MoZella written by Maureen Anne McDonald and Tim Myers
Music Company (editorial, FX, 5 notes): Comma Music
Audio: Another Country, John Binder