McDonald's Is Taking Hugs for Big Macs, New Campaign Gives Away Food for Lovin'

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McDonald's Taking Hugs for Big Macs, New Campaign Gives Away Food for Lovin'

McDonald’s latest attempt to boost its floundering restaurant sales premiered during the Super Bowl yesterday, with its first commercial during the annual event in eight years, called “Pay With Lovin’.”

Spending more than $4.5 million on the spot, the fast-food chain is promising to take payment for its food in select locations in the form of selfies, hugs, high fives or anything else that falls in line with its “I’m Lovin’ It” theme through February 14th.

That’s right, McDonald’s is essentially giving away an unlimited amount of its food to customers “chosen at random” by McDonald’s employees to pay in an alternate method. The spot showed people dancing, calling their moms to say “I love you," families hugging and smiling for their free food. Just how many customers will be able to qualify for the “Pay With Lovin’” food wasn’t made clear, but what is clear: McDonald’s is desperate to sell some food - even if that means luring customers in at the idea of getting free food that might otherwise only cost them a dollar. The free meals will be offered during pre-selected times.

“We want to thank our customers for making our day and hopefully they will make someone else’s as well – that’s what Lovin’ is all about,” a company spokesperson said in a statement.

McDonald’s has been battling steadily declining sales in recent years. Just last week, CEO Don Thompson said he would be stepping down from his position after three years.

In another attempt to bond with Americans steering clear of Big Macs and sodas, McDonald’s also recently launched a transparency campaign taking viewers behind the scenes of its production facilities to highlight how it makes its food.

Despite "Pay With Lovin'" being an obvious gimmick to boost sales of unhealthy food, the commercial is touching - even though a mom recognizing her son's compassion as her "payment" seems strangely out of place at a restaurant that primarily serves dead animals. But still, perhaps it's a glimpse of the changes ahead not just for McDonald's, but for our planet. You can watch the commercial below.

Find Jill on Twitter @jillettinger

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