McDonald’s overhaul of “lovin’ it” overdue

McDonald’s move to review its global “I’m lovin’ it” campaign is “necessary” if it is to remain relevant in the recession and in line with the trend towards social media, according to branding experts.

Justin Timberlake

The campaign first launched six years ago and featured US pop star Justin Timberlake. At the time it reflected the fast-food chain’s TV-led mass communications approach.

The company’s global CMO, Mary Dillon, says while it is not planning to scrap the brand idea, it is reviewing how it can be updated in a bid to make it “even stronger”.

But Landor Associates executive director of client services Simon Williams says since the initial years of the campaign, it has begun to lack consistency in its use in different markets. “While in the US “I’m lovin’ it’ is used to underscore the golden arches, in the UK and France, it’s not,” he says.

The Brand Gym managing partner David Taylor adds that McDonald’s has spent the past couple of years addressing issues to do with service and the quality of ingredients and products.

“If I was coming back with ‘I’m lovin’ it’ I would use it as an integrating thought to tie those different aspects together.”

Value Engineers director Anna Eggleton says that while health and obesity has dominated social consciousness in recent years, now the recession is the main global concern.

“McDonald’s used to be thought of as a ‘great family treat moment’ and then it got superseded by other places to eat as people traded up. Now that people are trading down, we could see McDonald’s tapping into this again,” Eggleton says.

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