From April 3 to May 31, customers were invited to submit 100-word essays and photos of themselves that, according to the McDonald's Web site, "capture the 'I'm lovin' it' spirit with themes of inspiration, passion and fun."
Early submissions depicted hiking in Canada, surfing in the United States, and horseback riding in France. McDonald's said it received about 13,000 responses from customers in 66 countries, and that the Web site, www.mcdglobalcasting.com, received 13 million visits and 1.2 million page views.
The 25 winners traveled to London in August to be photographed by Nick Clements. Their pictures will be rotated on McDonald's packaging throughout 2007. The Marketing Store, Chicago, and The Boxer Agency, Birmingham, England, handled the promotion.
McDonald's launched the promotion as a marketing gambit, according to Amy Murray, the chain's director of adult marketing. "We knew this wasn't going to be a sales builder," Murray told an audience at a marketing conference in Chicago on Wednesday. "This was a brand builder. We really felt we connected with people."
Speaking of sales, on Thursday McDonald's announced that same-store and overall sales had increased in September and for the quarter. The chain reported that same-store sales in the United States rose 7.1 percent for the month and 4.1 percent for the quarter, due to strong breakfast sales and the continued popularity of its chicken Snack Wrap, which was launched in August.
In Europe, sales for September rose 9 percent and for the quarter, 7.6 percent, due to everyday low-priced offerings. Worldwide sales rose 9.8 percent in September and 8.4 percent for the quarter. McDonald's has about 30,000 locations in more than 100 countries.