For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Thursday, 4 September 2003

McDONALD'S TO CONQUER THE WORLD?

McDonald’s yesterday announced the launch of what it says is its first worldwide advertising campaign to be devised outside the United States, centred on the slogan “i’m lovin’ it” [sic]. The campaign is meant to “connect McDonald’s with customers in highly relevant, culturally significant ways around the world” and will include a set of five adverts filmed in various locations worldwide that “reflect the lifestyles and attitudes of today’s customers and culture” according to three “brand versions” – young adults, family and general. The ads will be shown in more than 100 countries in which McDonald’s has a presence.

The IPKat thinks that, in as far as all McDonald’s products and restaurants around the world are uniform, it makes sense for the company to emphasise this through a worldwide brand campaign. This is nothing new – just look at Coca Cola’s 1970s “I’d Like to Teach the World to Sing” advertisement. However, if McDonald’s at any stage wants to highlight its sensitivity to the cultures in which its branches are located, it may have difficulty in doing so following such a campaign.

The IPKat notes that McDonald’s has chosen to build its campaign around a laudatory slogan that is unlikely to be registrable as a trade mark without proof of secondary meaning/acquired distinctiveness. This can be a bit of a gamble and the restaurant chain is going to have to work hard to build up that secondary meaning. McDonald’s seems to be aware of this judging by the “TM”s that follow every use of the slogan in the press release. Nevertheless, this may be a risk worth taking in order to use a slogan that embodies the brand message that McDonald’s wishes to project.

The IPKat further notes that the US trade mark registration for I’M LOVING IT for restaurant services and the like is held by Future Property Management. An (admittedly swift) internet search revealed no link between McDonald’s and Future Property Management.

Find out why Justin Timberlake is lovin’ it here and here
Hamburgers, just like mama never used to make here
Find out why not to eat at McDonald’s here
Some help in teaching the world how to sing here


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