finally, a mcd’s ad that works

While McDonald’s Corp. re-examines its national advertising efforts and vows to spend more money on regional ads, a small agency working for the chain’s operators in Northern California has been quietly winning consumers’ affections.
Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco created a charming retro character, Eddie the Echo (shown here), to promote the chain’s double hamburger last January. Eddie, who resembles a young, spiffed-up version of the Kramer character on TV’s Seinfeld, says everything twice. His signature “Howya doing? Howya doing?” has woven its way into the regional vernacular.
The agency’s two Eddie TV spots have done so well that McDonald’s officials recently made the commercials available to any other franchise groups that may want to use them.
Franchisees may be interested to know that when Eddie (really an acting grad from Ohio State University) shows up at Northern California McDonald’s restaurants, he is swamped with autograph requests.
Agency executives are currently in discussions with the client over the long-term strategy for developing the character, sources said.
–Joan Voight