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McDonald's Fashions New Image with Style Mavens

McDonald's as fashion icon? Who would have thought such a thing possible? The marketing brains at the fast-food marketer, that's who.  Believe it or not, one of the hottest fashion items this spring has nothing to do with Prada or Dior or Donna Karan.  Instead, it's a line of vintage T-shorts emblazoned with a McDonald's logo.  But unlike some hard-to-fathom fads that somehow capture the imagination of tastemakers by coincidence or accident, this one has savvy marketing strategy written all over it. It started last year with a word-of-mouth marketing campaign that was developed to boost the burger chain's image among fashion-conscious young people. As part of the effort, the fast-food marketer for the first time licensed use of its old ad slogans and ad characters on merchandise. McDonald's then hired DIC Entertainment Corp., an entertainment-licensing company that has been successful at reviving nostalgia brands such as Strawberry Shortcake. The two chose vintage T-shirts, currently a hot fashion item, as their first licensed product. The shirts, which retail for about $55, include the chain's old ad characters, such as Mayor McCheese and Grimace, and ad slogans, such as "You Deserve a Break Today." To spread the word to hipsters, McDonald's set up a big display in February at Lisa Kline, a trendy Los Angeles boutique. The company also sold the shirts at Intuition, another well-known L.A. store. The two stores are known for their celebrity clientele.  Media coverage followed: Ellegirl magazine features McDonald's T-shirts on its "HotPotato" list of must-have items and the April issue of In Touch magazine features a photo of "Sopranos" star Jamie-Lynn Sigler wearing a "Big Mac Attack" T-shirt




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