McD’s Looks for Rebound After ‘Campaign 55’ Flop

By Karen Benezra

NEW YORK–McDonald’s Corp. held emergency sessions with its franchisees and agencies last week in a bid to create a rebound strategy from the ‘Campaign 55’ debacle.

The campaign failed to boost sales and some franchisees said it actually cost them money.

McDonald’s is now looking to bring a broader food and value focus to its ‘My McDonald’s’ message, sources said.

The search could lead to a reshuffling of management duties, though ad agency assignments appear secure so far. Chicago shops Leo Burnett and DDB Needham handle the advertising, Frankel & Co. and Simon Marketing do promotions.

The burger giant, which last week axed the ‘Campaign 55’ program for all but its breakfast sandwiches, wants to make its food offerings more relevant as it continues a summerlong promotional calendar with Disney, sources said.

‘They can’t solve the long-term problem (of balancing brand-building and price promotion) in 12 minutes, although they’d like to,’ said an agency source.

While McDonald’s is likely to tweak individual TV ads, the ‘My McDonald’s’ brand campaign is expected to survive the summer as a theme, said sources.

Additionally, McDonald’s is continuing a search for a ‘concept guru’ to help examine its product mix and positioning as competitors Burger King and Wendy’s continue to gain market share. –with Scott Hume

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