McDonald’s Says Yes to Change

DDB Readies New Batch of Ads; 2 Arnold Regions in Review
CHICAGO–A quarterly meeting of McDonald’s regional ad shops this week could include news on a fresh advertising theme from lead agency DDB Worldwide, sources said.
DDB last week was thought to have sold new commercials to McDonald’s that will quickly go into production for presentation during the fast-food retailer’s April operators convention, sources said.
The Chicago agency has been working for months on an evolution of or successor to “Did somebody say McDonald’s?” A recent promotion in the Southeast was themed, “Yes, McDonald’s,” but it could not be confirmed if this was a new tagline.
One of the regional shops expected to be participating in Monday’s conference call, Arnold Communications, could be on the verge of losing two large pieces of its McDonald’s business. The Boston shop is fighting to keep its estimated $16-20 million Boston co-op business, while also seeing its $12-15 million Michigan business in review.
Among shops competing for the Michigan business are Leo Burnett in Chicago; Kragie-Newell in Des Moines, Iowa; Dallas-based Moroch & Associates; and Hoffman/Lewis in San Francisco, sources said. Burnett handles McDonald’s youth and “tweens” marketing and some regions; the other shops have regional business.
Arnold handles 20 regions from Maine to the Mississippi River, with total billings estimated at $130 million.
Calls to a representative for the Oak Brook. Ill.-based restaurant chain were not returned. Agency officials also declined to comment on both the new theme and the reviews.
DDB’s long-awaited follow-up to “Did somebody say McDonald’s?” which the agency coined in a successful effort to wrest the lead agency role from Burnett in July 1997, is expected to be service-oriented, fitting with McDonald’s new “Made for you” kitchen system.
The agency’s efforts are led by executive creative director Mike Sheehan, who took over in August after resigning from Hill, Holliday, Connors, Cosmopulos in Boston. K