McDonald's Marks Big Mac's 40th With Jingle Contest

BigMac yumQuick--what follows "Shall I compare thee to a summer's day?" Okay, how about reciting another of Shakespeare's popular sonnets, the one he might have written while working as a copywriter at DDB: the doggerel to McDonald's Big Mac that begins "Two all-beef patties, special sauce ... ?"

Fans of McDonald's--as well as just about every human alive since the '70s--will certainly know the rest of that chant. Now, to celebrate Big Mac's 40th, McDonald's is launching a consumer-content campaign on to get consumers to do remixes of the famous burger madrigal, introduced in 1974.

The winning remix will be part of a McDonald's Big Mac TV ad to air at the end of July. A panel of judges will select semifinalists. and the winner will be chosen through an online vote by July 22.

Kent Voetberg, director of marketing, McDonald's USA, says the "Big Mac Chant-Off" will be supported with an integrated campaign comprising a seven-week media flight with a mix of TV, digital and print. "We are using our national media support to showcase and drive consumers to our unique URL," he says, adding that TV ads include 15- and 30-second spots to run on highly rated programs and across key cable networks like Vh1, MTV and Comedy Central. "Custom billboards and vignettes with a live commercial feel will run within the FN MTV Friday Night Premieres TV show."



Voetberg says digital components include banner ads and search advertising on MySpace (the campaign hub), Google, YouTube and

The company is also supporting with a PR push. "Inside our restaurants," says Voetberg, "customers will find merchandising and point-of-purchase materials to support the promotion." He says the campaign includes a stable of MySpace artists like R&B singer Christina Milian who will help drive awareness and interest in the contest with their own versions of the Big Mac Chant, "which is helping to generate word-of-mouth and viral awareness," he says.

Voetberg adds that the Big Mac, despite its age, is still a high-volume item. "We have a loyal and consistent Big Mac consumer following, and with each new Big Mac promotion or program," he says. "From a national perspective, we look to support our premiere core products like the Big Mac on a regular basis and make sure that while we introduce new products, we also keep our core products like the Big Mac top of mind with our consumers."

Past campaigns include an "Are you Mac enough?" event with "Pirates of the Caribbean" and a Big Mac Tracks program with Sony that offered free music downloads.

The company says it sells over 500 million Big Mac sandwiches every year in the U.S., and that the sandwich is sold in more than 100 countries.

The Oakbrook, Ill.-based company reported global sales up 7.4% in the first quarter this year, and 7.7% in May, with U.S. sales up 4.3% for the month. Year-to-date through May, the company's sales were up 7.0%.

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