SBD/April 24, 2013/Marketing and Sponsorship

Put A Smile On: Gabby Douglas To Endorse New McDonald's Breakfast Sandwich

Douglas will promote the new sandwich at restaurant events rather than in ads
Gold Medal-winning U.S. gymnast Gabby Douglas has reached a deal with McDonald's to "promote its newest item -- the egg-white breakfast sandwich," in an attempt to "attract diners with healthier items," according to Leslie Patton of BLOOMBERG NEWS. National marketing for the 250-calorie sandwich "starts April 29 and includes print, billboard, radio and television ads." Douglas "won’t appear in any of the ads -- she will promote the egg whites at McDonald’s events." McDonald's Marketing Dir Noelle Laughter "declined to say how much McDonald’s is spending on the campaign and how much it paid Douglas." Douglas made "headlines last year when she told Jay Leno that she 'splurged' on an McDonald’s Egg McMuffin, which has 300 calories, to celebrate her Olympic wins." First Lady Michelle Obama, founder of the "Let’s Move" campaign to fight childhood obesity, in response said, "You’re setting me back, Gabby.” Baker Street Advertisers Exec VP & Exec Creative Dir Bob Dorfman said that promoting items with Olympic athletes can be "risky because they don’t have a lot of 'staying power.'" He said that when Douglas "finished the games last year, 'she was the darling of America.'" Dorfman: “Now that’s faded a little bit” (BLOOMBERG NEWS, 4/23).
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