Leo Burnett Chooses Lovin’ for McDonald’s

By Erik Oster 

McDonald’s is doubling down on the lovin,’ with no hatin’ in sight.

When details of the McDonald’s rebrand, and tentative “Lovin’ Beats Hatin'” tagline surfaced in October, the line met with much backlash (including plenty of hatin’ from commenters on this site). Shortly thereafter, however, McDonald’s announced it had no plans to use the phrase. After finding out a whole lot about what wouldn’t be part of the McDonald’s rebrand, we finally have a glimpse of what it will be, with the “Archenemies” spot from Leo Burnett (featured above).

The ad does indeed feature a lovin’ over hatin’ type narrative, showing archenemies reconciling their differences and choosing to love instead. Among the characters who set aside their differences, in a low-key animated style, are Batman and The Joker, Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, and Mario and Bowser. At the end of the spot, even Grumpy Cat is won over by a Happy Meal, trading his usual glum expression for a sort-of smirk before the phrase, “Choose Lovin'” appears onscreen, followed by the old standby, “I’m Lovin’ It.”

The ad shows Leo Burnett taking a preemptive strike against haters of the brand who have had a strong social media presence. If even Grumpy Cat can put aside the hatin’, the spot implies, why can’t you? While the brand avoids addressing all the reasons people do hate the brand, a recent transparency campaign takes a stab at some of those issues. Instead, the brand’s new campaign seems to be something of an assault on negativity, allowing it to deflect future criticisms with its “positive message.” That makes “Archenemeies” simultaneously cute and kind of sneaky. The rebrand also includes new packaging and point-of-sale materials.

“We recognize, and our customers do too, all the negativity that surrounds daily life and we are choosing to celebrate lovin’ more,” the brand said 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.”

Ah, the lovin’ spirit…

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