Will this video get consumers back to McDonald’s?

NEW YORK (MarketWatch)—McDonald’s Corp. is stressing the “lovin’” as it tries to get consumers to come back to the fast-food restaurant.

The question is whether this minute-long video, with its cheerful, cartoony feel and signs of love (or at least friendship) between unlikely pairs—a red elephant and blue donkey hugging, and a Cheesehead Green Bay Packers fan offering french fries to a Chicago Bears, among others—can do the trick.


MCD, -0.47%

has been plagued by steadily declining U.S. same-store sales, and the company last month promised to simplify its menu, including cutting an unspecified eight items from its menu this month.

In a separate video, also released Friday, Deborah Wahl, the company’s chief marketing officer, promised customers the fast-food giant will “listen more, assume less.” The unusual four-minute film is essentially a folksy attempt to chat directly with customers.

Wahl hinted the company would be showing some new loving toward its key Big Mac and quarter-pounder with cheese hamburgers, without saying what.

The video was part of a new brand vision unveiled on Friday. In an accompanying statement, McDonald’s said the new focus on the lovin’ part of its tagline “will inspire everything we do moving forward, from advertising and marketing to how we interact with customers in restaurants and on social media.”

It declined to elaborate.

The moves come three weeks before the company is due to report fourth-quarter earnings, on Jan. 23. While it could deflect some of the immediate pressure, the company has been promising to fix its problems for several quarters now, often with similar phrasing.

Investors have been skeptical. The stock fell 3.5% in 2014 while the SP 500 climbed 11.4%. On Friday, shares fell 0.5% to $93.26 in a flat day for the broader market.

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