The new packaging, which features photographs of the food and kitchen utensils as well as big print typography, will begin rolling out in November in the United States, United Kingdom and Ireland. It was introduced at a media event in Chicago on Wednesday.
The packaging--in brown, purple, red and blue hues--replaces the red-and-white packaging that featured images of customers that the company has been using for five years. That packaging showed customers actively enjoying themselves and was launched on the heels of McDonald's "I'm lovin' it" push, which was intended to place the company's focus on the customer.
"We're expressing the quality of the brand in a different way," said Pierre Woreczek, chief brand and strategy officer for McDonald's Europe. "We're moving from lifestyle packaging to one that expresses our passion for food quality while keeping our brand tonality."
The tonality is expressed through whimsical phrasings on the boxes and wrappers. One clamshell cardboard box for a Big Mac boldly exclaims: "There is only one Big Mac." One for a fish sandwich proclaims: "Full Steam ahead. Enjoy your Fillet O' Fish." Elsewhere on the boxes, there are photos of ingredients, such as lettuce, onions, and in the case of the Big Mac, a locked jar of secret sauce. The boxes also contain nutritional information and a promise of ingredient freshness.
The packages will be translated into 21 languages to accommodate McDonald's global markets. Both the new packaging and the previous "I'm lovin' it" themed packaging were created by Boxer, a unit of The Marketing Store Worldwide, based in Birmingham, England.
The new packaging is intended to put the company's "passion" for its food in directly in the hands of its 56 million daily customers. "[It] reflects the essence of who we are. We're a restaurant company," Dillon said. "It will help reintroduce our products and our quality, fresh ingredients."
In addition to its new packaging, McDonald's in November will also begin rolling out a global promotional tie-in with the upcoming Dreamworks movie "Madagascar 2, Back 2 Africa." Like its "Shrek 3" promotion last year, the tie-in will emphasize the healthier alternatives on the kids' menu, such as apple slices and low-fat milk, Dillon said.
In addition, the company will launch a "One Minute to Move It" initiative, encouraging kids to spend at least one minute a day doing something active or creative. Promotional messaging includes phrases such as "dance it," "create it," "write it," and "jump it" after the phrase "One minute to ..."
Ads for the promotion use the movie's mischievous penguins playing the movie's hit song, "Move it, Move it," to make a family dance in an attempt to steal a Happy Meal. In addition to the ads, there will be an online component where kids can track the minutes they use to move for create and extensive in-store promotional efforts, Dillon said. "A kid like you is doing something really cool right now. What will you do with your minute," read one promotional phrase.
"It lets kids take control of their own well-being," Dillon said. "Once kids get started, they'll take many more minutes to do what they're doing."