It was 2005 and McDonald’s new ad campaign, “I’m lovin’ it,” was in full swing. The advertising onslaught was developed by German marketing group, Heye & Partner. They rolled out the campaign in 2003 with the now ubiquitous jingle sung by Justin Timberlake and produced by the Neptunes. JT was paid a cool $6 million to sing the jingle. McDonald’s also had other plans to incorporate musicians into the advertising scheme, albeit with a psychic driving nature. Partnering with a company named Maven Strategies they came up with a plan to pay rappers $1 to $5 per play on the radio for a song that featured the words ‘Big Mac’. The song did not even have to mention McDonald’s by name. The company however, would get the final say over the lyrics. With a hit song this could potentially net an artist millions of dollars. Despite the hogs saying the artists could do what they want and “creatively bring to life the product in their song”, nothing seemed to be what they were looking for. On top of not finding a dance partner, pressure from groups such as the Boston based, Campaign for a Commercial-Free Childhood, began to mount complaints, which claimed that it was an insidious way to target children. Eventually McDonald’s grew cold on the idea and dropped it. However this wasn’t the first nor the last time advertising has tried to sell products through rap verse, as an example there’s a whole article on Complex of all the brands Kanye West has mentioned in his albums, from Forever 21 to UGG. Are you lovin’ it?
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