McD’s Mascot Out and About With TBWA\C\D

CHICAGO McDonald’s puts its famous icon front and center in a new advertising campaign from Omnicom Group’s TBWA\Chiat\Day, the agency’s first national domestic work for the client.

In a series of television spots that broke over the weekend, people talk to statues of the famous Ronald McDonald clown. Though the statues are traditionally found inside and around the restaurants, the conversations occur in places nowhere near a McDonald’s. In one spot, a man is opining about the variety of handshakes people have devised before he’s revealed to be sitting on a bench with a Ronald statue. Other spots feature Bigfoot in the forest and a man dressed in a hamster suit outside a stadium.

The campaign continues McDonald’s two-year-old tagline, “I’m lovin’ it,” and its familiar five-tone aural signature.

McDonald’s competitor Burger King has been running a campaign for a couple years featuring a king with an oversized plastic head. MDC Partners’ Crispin Porter + Bogusky in Miami is responsible for that work.

Though the TBWA network handles McDonald’s business in markets outside the U.S.—and was invited into the pitch to create the company’s first global advertising campaign—this is the first national advertising for the Oak Brook, Ill., client from the Playa del Rey, Calif., agency. The shop would not discuss how it got the assignment.

“TBWA works with McDonald’s throughout its network, including TBWA\Chiat\Day Los Angeles, on a variety of projects,” according to a statement from the agency. “It is standard policy not to discuss any specifics related to any client assignments.”

Company representatives did not return phone calls.

Spending on the effort was not disclosed. McDonald’s spent $685 million on domestic advertising through October 2005, according to Nielsen Monitor-Plus.