New Packaging Reflects McD’s Advertising

CHICAGO McDonald’s executives today unveiled a new global packaging initiative that executives said was the next phase in their efforts to unify branding and advertising around the world.

“We say that when people walk into our stores, they walk into our brand. Now they can hold our brand in their hands,” said Larry Light, global chief marketing officer for the Oak Brook, Ill., company. Light called the packaging McDonald’s “most important new advertising initiative.”

The new packaging, to make its debut in the U.S., Canada and Latin America in January, was designed by Boxer of Birmingham, England. The bags and cups are intended to reflect the company’s recent global advertising campaign, showing people doing activities they enjoy, such as playing sports or music. The tagline from that effort, “I’m lovin’ it,” appears in different languages on the packaging.

McDonald’s previous package design prominently featured a logo and not much else, Light said. “We didn’t view our packaging as a brand message; it was a container,” he said. “We wanted to go from package design to a brand design.”

After first appearing in North and South America, the packaging will be introduced into other markets throughout the year, Light said. He said the company would see some cost savings from the unified packaging, but declined to offer specifics.