Olympics Are a McDonald’s Fantasyland

CHICAGO McDonald’s Corp. aims for whimsical adventures in two new efforts designed to capitalize on the company’s sponsorship of next month’s Winter Olympic Games.

“As we have throughout our 30 years of Olympic Games support, we want to connect with consumers across the world through this premier sporting event,” said Mary Dillon, global chief marketing officer for McDonald’s, in a statement. “Customers have told us that our advertising helps bring the games to life for them in unique and surprising ways.”

In one effort from Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett in Chicago, Ronald McDonald trains for events such as freestyle skiing, pairs figure skating and ski jumping as commentators report on the action.

Another television spot, from Omnicom Group’s TBWA/Chiat/Day in Playa del Rey, Calif., uses live action and computer-generated animation to show a boy moving from his world into a fantasy where he flies above the earth, dives under the ocean, kicks a soccer ball through a city and jumps a snowboard over the moon.

Both efforts continue the Oak Brook, Ill., company’s global tagline, “I’m lovin’ it.”

McDonald’s, which has been an Olympic sponsor since 1976, will also have outdoor creative at the games when they open in Torino, Italy, including an oversized French fry box filled with ski-like fries.

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