McDonald's launches new 'I'm lovin' it' slogan in Germany

Tuesday, September 2nd 2003, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) _ McDonald's Corp. was launching a global advertising campaign Tuesday, seeking to boost business with a younger image and a new slogan _ ``I'm lovin' it.''

The ads are part of a turnaround push by the company that has seen McDonald's bring in a new chief executive and close hundreds of restaurants.

Germany was chosen as launch venue because the slogan was dreamed up by a German ad agency, Heye & Partner. The new tag line_ it replaces ``We love to see you smile'' _ was to debut in German television ads Tuesday evening.

By the end of the month, the campaign is to start in more than 100 countries. The U.S. launch is set for Sept. 29, said Ricarda Ruecker, a spokeswoman for the German unit McDonald's Deutschland.

McDonald's, based in Oak Brook, Ill., hopes the new campaign will help it connect better with young adults, mothers and kids as sales flag in a glutted restaurant market.

It's the latest move by McDonald's to put new energy into one of the world's best-known brands.

The company reported its first quarterly loss in its history in the last three months of 2002 and is in the midst of a shake-up under chief executive James Cantalupo, who took over in January. He says putting the company back on track will take at least until 2005.

It has cut capital spending, closed restaurants, renewed efforts to improve service, and introduced new menu items such as a meal-sized salad and the McGriddle breakfast sandwich.

Same-store sales jumped 4.9 percent in the United States in the second quarter, helping push up worldwide comparable sales by 1.2 percent. Sales were flat in Europe, the company's No. 2 market, and net profit fell 5 percent in the quarter to $470.9 million.

Munich-based Heye & Partner was among 14 international ad agencies that bid for the McDonald's contract.

Heye stands out among German firms for its use of humor, such as an earlier McDonald's ad in which aliens lurking in bushes near the Golden Arches decide to wait to attack until after the earthlings have had burgers.