Two days after McDonald’s Corp. said its chief executive officer was leaving the company amid a prolonged sales slump, the world’s largest restaurant chain is hoping to turn the corner by giving away food.
McDonald’s released its Super Bowl advertisement on YouTube.com Friday, promoting a “Pay with Lovin’” program that will give free food to randomly chosen customers for two weeks in February in exchange for “an act of lovin’.” In the ad, one customer is told to call his mother and tell her he loves her, while another dances rather than ponying up cash for his meal.
“McDonald’s is in a unique position to bring a little more lovin’ to our customers,” Deborah Wahl, the company’s chief marketing officer, said in a statement. “We’re on a journey to change the relationship and conversation, and Pay with Lovin’ is a direct way for us to engage our customers.”
The Pay with Lovin’ promotion will run at U.S. stores between 6 a.m. and 6 p.m. from Feb. 2 until Feb. 14. The ad will be shown during Sunday’s Super Bowl, which is typically the most-watched television event in the U.S. The campaign plays on McDonald’s longtime “I’m Lovin’ It” slogan.
McDonald’s this week said CEO Don Thompson would leave the company March 1 and be replaced by Steve Easterbrook, a veteran of the restaurant chain who is currently its chief brand officer. McDonald’s net income fell 21 percent in the fourth quarter as global sales dropped. In the U.S., where McDonald’s has more than 14,000 restaurants, same store sales fell 2.1 percent in 2014, the biggest drop since at least 2001.