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McDonald's Changes Its Advertising Slogan

Aired June 12, 2003 - 20:49   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

ANDERSON COOPER, CNN ANCHOR: McDonald's apparently no longer loves to see you smile. The fast food giant has decided to replace that slogan with another -- "I'm lovin' it." That's the new slogan. It's going to be part of McDonald's first global advertising campaign this fall.
Joining me now is Susan Lisovicz of CNN Financial News to discuss whether replacing "We love to see you smile" with "I'm lovin' it" will actually attract a younger, hipper crowd, as McDonald's desperately hopes.

So yes, you don't think young and hip when you think of McDonald's normally. We'll show you one of their old commercials. Do you think this new commercial is going to work?

SUSAN LISOVICZ, CNN FINANCIAL NEWS: Well, I mean, if you look at any of McDonalds' old campaigns, whether it's "You deserve a break today," "We do it all for you," "We love to see you smile," they're pretty much all the same. You know, you have a clown with red hair and smiling babies and happy parents and golden arches.

COOPER: Let's actually show one of those commercials. Just show a little bit of it.

LISOVICZ: And they're...

(VIDEO CLIP -- MCDONALD'S TELEVISION COMMERCIAL)

COOPER: All right, hip it is not.

LISOVICZ: Yes, they're not Nike when it comes to edgy.

COOPER: The new campaign -- it's not out yet, but what kind of a style is it going to be?

LISOVICZ: Well, think pulsating music. Think MTV-like imagery. Think Pepsi, you know, with Britney Spears dancing around. We don't know who the celebrity or recording artist will be. But McDonald's is basically saying, We're shopping around for a top creative talent, possibly even doing some sort of partnership with a music company. And they're going after not quite as young an audience as toddlers.

COOPER: Right.

LISOVICZ: They're going after teens and tweens and...

COOPER: People who have a lot of disposable income.

LISOVICZ: And people who really know their fast food.

COOPER: Right. But now what -- I mean, all this is brought on by the fact that McDonald's had their first quarterly loss, but...

LISOVICZ: Ever!

COOPER: ... they're going to have a new CEO...

LISOVICZ: In the company history.

COOPER: ... and they just introduced these salads with Paul Newman dressing, which are actually very good and have actually now improved sales. I think they're up 6 percent or so.

LISOVICZ: Well, it's true. I mean, McDonald's has technically had salads for years, but a lot of people don't consider iceberg lettuce a salad. So they -- so the company started to use mixed greens, Newman's Own dressing and really stepping up to the plate. And that's helped sales. McDonald's recorded a 6 percent gain in U.S. restaurant sales and made best in four years. But the fact is, it has a lot of challenges both from the competition, like Burger King, Taco Bell, and there's a lot of complaints from consumers on everything from the amount of time that it takes to get your order to the cleanliness of the restaurants and the quality of the food.

COOPER: Yes. Well, that's true. I actually tried the salads. They're good, but the cleanliness is definitely an issue. But we'll see. The new campaign -- "I'm lovin' it." I guess it's going to come out in a couple months?

LISOVICZ: This fall.

COOPER: We'll see if consumers are lovin' it and whether they continue to love McDonald's. Thanks. Susan Lisovicz...

LISOVICZ: My pleasure.

COOPER: ... appreciate it.

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