McDonald's international TV spot with Justin Timberlake to promote the McDonalds--Sony Connect promotion.

In June 2004, just five weeks after we had launched Sony’s new digital download enterprise Sony Connect, we launched the “Big Mac Meal Tracks” global promotion with McDonald’s.

I worked closely with McDonald’s various ad agencies to conceptualize the campaign, and used our contacts in the music industry to find an unknown artist to provide the music for the TV campaign.

The track was “I Like That” by Houston and the TV spot had a surprise cameo by Justin Timberlake. The global ad spend was $30 million+ and the Sony Connect branding was on millions of Big Macs along with signage in every McDonald’s location in the US, Canada, UK, France and Germany.

McDonald's reported the Big Mac Meal Tracks campaign helped to directly stimulate same-store sales 9.2% for that quarter.


A Taste of Hollywood

IN A HIGHLY anticipated deal, McDonald's Corp. has joined forces with Sony Connect, Inc., which is angling to be a major player in the digital music world. News reports regarding this promotional partnership began to surface as far back as March, but the companies hadn't made their pairing official until June. The partnership is part of McDonald's global marketing strategy, which fuses entertainment with food.

“Together we are taking the McDonald's restaurant experience to a whole new level via the Connect music store,” says Larry Light, McDonald's EVP and global CMO. “This is the largest promotion of its kind ever undertaken in the history of the music industry. Nothing on this scale has ever been attempted on a multi-national basis before.”

Along with Sony Connect, McDonald's is launching an international restaurant promotion, tagged Big Mac Meal Tracks, that features free access codes redeemable for downloads. The promo, which began June 8, runs through the middle of August in the U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada. Sony Europe and McD's will launch the promotion in the U.K., France and Germany this month. It is expected to roll out to additional McDonald's countries throughout the year as technology permits.

Santa Monica, CA-based Sony Connect will also reap the benefits of McDonald's overall ad budget estimated at more than $30 million, which will be used to push the promotion.

Every customer who purchases a Big Mac Extra Value Meal will receive a free access code printed on the sandwich carton, redeemable for one song download at, a service that currently offers its listeners 500,000 songs. McDonald's execs believe that millions upon millions of songs will be given away over the course of the promotional period. Two new global TV spots via Chicago-based Leo Burnett Worldwide support, one of which features a cameo appearance by singer and McD's spokesperson Justin Timberlake. The spot contains a rich repertoire of music selections that represent the different music tastes of McDonald's customers around the world.

“From a McDonald's standpoint we are targeting not just young adults, but also those who are young at heart,” explains Dean Barrett, SVP-global brands for McD's. “We want to be an inclusive brand, not an exclusive brand, and music appeals to all ages.”

Radio advertising, in-store kiosks, menu boards, window decals and packaging will all help to deliver the brand message.

“For the future we have been in lots of conversations with Sony on a lot of ideas,” says Barrett. “There are lots of things going on in numerous countries already; for example there is currently a CD promotion going on in Spain. We will be doing a lot more with music.”



Key Messages

• McDonald’s marks another milestone in its leadership marketing efforts today with the
announcement of a new marketing relationship with Sony Connect Inc. and the launch of
an unprecedented multi-national restaurant promotion for customers.

• The McDonald’s Big Mac Meal Tracks program offers every customer who purchases a
Big Mac Extra Value Meal“ at participating McDonald’s restaurants a code for one free
song download at the Connect™ music store It will run in six
countries to start: United States, Puerto Rico and Canada June 8; Germany, France and
the United Kingdom in early July. It will roll out to additional McDonald’s countries as
plans become final.

• During this promotion, McDonald’s anticipates providing millions of customer downloads,
making this one of the largest music promotions of its kind. It is the first time that a
promotion of this scale is being offered to consumers in multiple countries around the

• Big Mac Meal Tracks will be supported by a new global television commercial featuring a
cameo appearance by superstar Justin Timberlake. In keeping with the innovative spirit
of the promotion, the commercial will feature soundtracks by hot music artists including
rising R&B star Houston and the hot young group, the Conti Brothers.

• Music is a key component of McDonald’s successful i’m lovin it™ campaign, and our
partnership with Sony Connect provides another way to reach customers in a way that
surprises, delights and is uniquely McDonald’s.

• McDonald's and Sony are both strong consumer brands globally, and we look forward to
exploring more opportunities in other areas in the future

• Big Mac Meal Tracks with Sony Connect is just one example of the innovation and
creativity inherent in our new strategic alliance with Sony, the world leader in music and
technology. We view this as a long-term partnership that can benefit our customers in
unique ways relevant to today’s lifestyles and trends.


Q1: How does the Big Mac Meal Tracks promotion work?
A1: During the Big Mac Meal Tracks promotion and while supplies last, every customer who
purchases a Big Mac Extra Value Meal at participating restaurants will receive a code
right on the Big Mac sandwich box worth one free song download at the Connect music
store, and The program
runs from six to ten weeks in six countries: U.S., Puerto Rico and Canada on June 8;
Germany; France and the UK in early July.

Q2: What makes this promotion unique?
A2: In addition to the fact that this is the first time McDonald’s and Sony Connect have
partnered together, the program is unique because it is the first time that a music
promotion of this scale is being offered to consumers in multiple countries around the
world. It is expected to give away millions of downloads to millions of McDonald’s
customers in six countries.

Q3: Why is McDonald’s partnering with Sony Connect?
A3: Sony Connect is a world leader in music and technology unequaled in its knowledge and
expertise of the industry. As part of our global marketing strategy, we are partnering with
leaders in music, fashion, entertainment and sports and Sony Connect fits these criteria.
As the first program of its kind in six countries, Big Mac Meal Tracks meets our criteria of
first, big, best.

Q4: Will this partnership replace your Disney partnership?
A4: No. We will continue to work with Disney, the leader in children’s entertainment and are
delighted to welcome Sony Connect as a new partner in the music and technology arena.
Our goal is to partner with leaders in the areas of music, fashion, entertainment and
sports, and Disney and Sony are both important to this strategy.

Q5: How many countries are participating in McDonald’s/Sony Big Mac Meal Tracks

A5: Currently, there are six countries participating in McDonald’s/Sony Big Mac Meal Tracks
promotion including: the United States, Puerto Rico, Canada, France, Germany and the
United Kingdom. The program will roll out to additional McDonald’s countries as plans
are finalized.

Q6: Why is the promotion only being conducted in these six countries?
A6: The online music industry is so new that copyright laws vary from country to country, and
not all the legal issues have been solved in every country around the world. Sony
Connect is the first online music store to launch in Europe and we are proud to be
partnering on this break through program.