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McDonald's® Pays Tribute to U.S. Olympians with Historic 'Olympic Smiles' Commercial

Features Olympians During their Unforgettable Winning Moments Including Amy Van Dyken, Michael Johnson and Mary Lou Retton; Spot to Be Updated with New Smile Moments from Sydney

Sep 1, 2000

McDonald's will tug at the heartstrings of Americans filled with the Olympic Spirit when it airs a new 60-second "Olympic Smiles" commercial. The spot, which is set to break Monday, September 4, in a variety of high-profile network programming beginning with the national morning shows, features emotionally-charged vintage smile moments from some of the most decorated and recognized U.S. Olympians. It is the latest commercial to use the recently introduced, "We Love to See You Smile™" theme.

The commercial, created by DDB Chicago, will first air on networks, cable and syndicated programming two weeks prior to Opening Ceremony. Plans call for the spot to be updated throughout the Games with new Olympic smile moments from the athletes competing in Sydney.

"As a proud partner of the Olympic movement, McDonald's is excited to rekindle these memorable moments that have made us, and the athletes smile over the years," said Larry Zwain, senior vice president, McDonald's U.S. Marketing. "We have a rich history of breakthrough Olympic-themed advertising that motivates our crew and resonates with our customers. With this unprecedented move to include current Olympic athletes shortly after competing in their events, we hope to capture the spirit of the Games and striving to be your best."

The line-up of past medal-winning athletes was developed from a long list of memorable Olympics moments and includes the smile of Amy Van Dyken, a former McDonald's crew member, who captured four gold medals in swimming at the '96 Atlanta Games.

"I am thrilled to be included in such an inspirational commercial," said Van Dyken, who worked at her local McDonald's in Englewood, Colorado, "Everyone has a special place in their hearts for the Olympic Games and, as a former McDonald's crew member, it is great to be honored by a company that has meant so much to me."

Olympians featured in the "Olympic Smiles" commercial (in order of appearance) include:

  -- Amy Van Dyken - Gold Medalist, Swimming, Atlanta, 1996; former
     McDonald's crew member
  -- Jesse Owens - Gold Medalist, Track & Field, Berlin, 1936
  -- Tara Lipinski - Gold Medalist, Figure Skating, Nagano, 1998
  -- Bruce Jenner - Gold Medalist, Track & Field, Montreal, 1976
  -- Otis Davis - Gold Medalist, Track & Field, Rome, 1960
  -- Mary Lou Retton - Gold Medalist, Gymnastics, Los Angeles, 1984
  -- Florence Griffith-Joyner - Gold Medalist, Track & Field, Seoul, 1988
  -- Michelle Kwan - Silver Medalist, Figure Skating, Nagano, 1998
  -- Wilma Rudolph - Gold Medalist, Track & Field, Rome, 1960
  -- Dan Jansen - Gold Medalist, Speed Skating, Lillehammer, 1994
  -- Greg Louganis - Gold Medalist, Diving, Seoul, 1988
  -- Michael Johnson - Gold Medalist, Track & Field, Atlanta, 1996

McDonald's is the world's largest global foodservice retailer with more than 28,000 restaurants, serving nearly 43 million people each day in 119 countries. More than 85 percent of McDonald's restaurants around the world are owned and operated by independent, local businessmen and women.


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PRN Photo Desk, 888-776-6555 or 201-369-3467

SOURCE: McDonald's

Contact: Julie Monzo of McDonald's, 630-623-6049, email,; or Cindy Pettersen of Burson Marstellar, 312-596-3494,