Quirky Ads Tout New McD’s Menu

Offbeat vignettes of McDonald’s customers are intended to illustrate change in a $60 million TV campaign backing the national launch of the fast-food chain’s “New Tastes Menu.”

Three 30-second spots that broke yesterday claim McDonald’s customers will experience some thing different, said Larry Zwain, svp of marketing for the Oak Brook, Ill., chain.

A general-market spot from lead agency DDB in Chicago shows a woman eating a menu item as she walks with a green alien; a man who eats a hamburger, then shaves his head; and a woman sitting on a highway median snacking on a burger. “The goal was to do something that says there is a noticeable change going on at McDonald’s,” said Don Hoffman, the agency’s evp, executive account director on McDonald’s.

The effort begins a second year with the “We love to see you smile” tagline, Zwain said.

“The focus, of course, is on the 40 or so new tastes on the menu,” Zwain said. “But we also wanted to present the items in a unique and comical way.”

The vignette style was also used for a Hispanic-market spot from del Rivero Messianu, Miami. Burrell Communications created one aimed at African Americans.

The new menu includes BBQ Bacon Crispy Chicken, Mighty Wings and Arctic Orange Shake. “We are also using shell spots developed by the agencies that allow the vignettes to change,” Zwain said.

McDonald’s spent $520 million on advertising during the first nine months of 2000, according to Competitive Media Reporting. K