UPDATE: McDonald’s Invites Leo Burnett and DDB Out for Breakfast

By Patrick Coffee 

Just over one year ago, the struggling-but-still-dominant McDonald’s followed its own instructions to “rebrand in 18 months…or else” by choosing Leo Burnett as the agency to lead its attempts to reassert its place in the market.

Burnett’s win was a loss of sorts for DDB, which nonetheless retained its status as the chain’s lead creative agency. The two shops pitched against one another for the new assignment.

The decision may have inspired some bitterness in Chicago. In fact, sources suggested that someone at DDB leaked the alleged, much-mocked tagline “Lovin’ Beats Hatin'” to the Wall Street Journal’s CMO Today blog. (The client later explained that this was one of many such lines that it trademarked; no word on whether “Treats Excited” was another.)

Now, someone tells Chicago Business Journal’s Lewis Lazare that McD’s has tasked DDB with promoting its recently-announced all-day breakfast offering.

This move, according to Lazare’s contacts, is significant because the subsequent work will be “the largest advertising effort the burger behemoth has unleashed since McCafe was unveiled nationally in 2009.”

UPDATE: Lazare’s sources were mistaken. Leo Burnett Chicago will continue to lead creative for McDonald’s, and the agency just hired former Deutsch duo Gordy & Brian to work on the account. From a client spokesperson:

“In October, we are launching in with a multi-faceted, multi-channel approach using all of our agency partners. Leo Burnett is providing the launch spot for All Day Breakfast and DDB has helped with the strategy and support work for our general market approach. Leo’s launch work has been inspired by our test market work with Moroch.

Burrell, ALMA and IW Group are providing AACM, Hispanic and Asian work respectively for TV, Radio and Digital efforts.”

The Moroch work mentioned above and titled “Quiet Breakfast” doesn’t appear to be available online at the moment, though it did get nominated for some awards.

It’s also worth noting that Golin, the PR firm that won a good bit of attention for its recent Hamburglar “rebranding,” was the party tasked with promoting the new offering on social and securing all earned media coverage.

All this aside, Lazare’s source did say that McD’s forthcoming breakfast-oriented work will be very different than the recent cartoon-heavy campaigns by Leo Burnett, with a greater focus on “real people in situations to which viewers can relate emotionally.”

The new campaigns will reportedly issue teasers next month, debut in full on October 6 (the same day McD’s new menu debuts) and carry on well into 2016.

Here, for no real reason, is a stock photo of Ronald McDonald looking slightly evil while wishing peace to all people.

Ronald mcdonald is evil