DDB, Burnett Lend Expert Help

Along with the right to use Ronald McDonald, Expert Software’s licensing agreement with McDonald’s Corp. brings the software maker the services of the fast-food company’s agencies.
Expert, based in Coral Gables, Fla., this week begins testing two 30-second TV spots for its value-priced McDonaldland Software series targeting children. The spots were created by McDonald’s lead agency, DDB Needham Chicago. Leo Burnett here is handling media buying for the Expert campaign, as it does for most McDonald’s advertising. The TV spots are themed, “Play day.”
The spots will run initially in Los Angeles and Boston, with other markets likely to be added through the fourth quarter, said Anne Aitken, the one-time director of advertising for Burger King who now is Expert’s vice president of marketing. One spot targets mothers and children; the second focuses just on children.
Radio spots, created in-house by Expert, will air in 30 markets. In-store materials, also handled in-house, will promote the six-title CD-ROM line at retailers such as Best Buy, CompUSA, Eckerd’s, Pathmark, Safeway and Wal-Mart. No budget was disclosed.
Each of the titles, which retail for $14.99, includes an animated McDonaldland screen saver and a coupon redeemable for a free Happy Meal.
McDonald’s won’t be promoting the software in its restaurants this year because its promotions calendar was set before the line could hit stores, Aitken said.
“Children are extremely important to McDonald’s, and it wants to keep up with kids’ interests,” Aitken said. “McDonald’s was looking for a computer software partner. Our companies met, and we realized we have a common customer in families and a common commitment to value.”
Expert has a five-year computer software exclusivity deal with McDonald’s. Most of the company’s 120 titles retail for $14.99.