McDonald’s New Global Line: ‘I’m Lovin’ It’

CHICAGO McDonald’s will launch its new global tagline, “I’m lovin’ it,” this fall as part of a 2-year marketing initiative.

The line will be used in all of McDonald’s global markets, including the U.S., where it will replace the 18-month-old tagline, “Smile.”

In a conference call with the press on Wednesday, Larry Light, chief global marketing officer for McDonald’s, said the line “is all about the revitalization of the McDonald’s brand, with a global burst of instant energy.”

The idea, which came out of meetings between McDonald’s marketing executives and the company’s global agencies, was developed by Heye & Partners in Unterhaching, Germany. An Omnicom-owned agency affiliated with DDB Worldwide, the shop has worked for McDonald’s for more than 30 years, according to Light.

McDonald’s is currently in the midst of a worldwide marketing conference at which the new theme was introduced. McDonald’s global agencies will now be tasked with applying “I’m loving it” in their local markets.

“There are no winners or losers here,” Light said. “No one agency had all the ideas. In fact, every agency had some great ideas.”

Light said the Oak Brook, Ill., company was “committed to its multi-agency” strategy. DDB in Chicago is McDonald’s lead U.S. agency. Publicis Groupe’s Leo Burnett handles kids’ advertising. Light said the assignments would not be changing. “We made it very clear that we weren’t evaluating advertising agencies, we were evaluating creative ideas,” he said.

Though Light said the company would not increase or decrease its advertising spending though he added the company might change the allocation of its expenditures as it looks at efficiencies and effectiveness.

McDonald’s spends an estimated $1.3 billion annually on ads. Last year, the company’s U.S. ad expenditure alone was $720 million, per Nielsen Monitior-Plus. That figure was down 5 percent compared with 2001.

This story updates a previously posted item.