McDonald’s tips off the New Year by introducing the “Next Big Thing” for its restaurants. NBA All-Star Kobe Bryant will be featured in the advertising campaign launching McDonald’s new Big N’ Tasty sandwich. The Big N’ Tasty arrives in restaurants nationwide beginning February 16 and will be featured for $.99 from March 2- March 11

The Big N’ Tasty—which combines a quarter pound beef patty, sesame seed bun, lettuce, tomato, mayonnaise, ketchup, onions and pickles — is being introduced after customers responded positively to the new taste in various markets throughout the West Division.

“McDonald’s is thrilled to begin the year with two exciting initiatives—a new lettuce and tomato sandwich and our partnership with Kobe Bryant,” said Alan Feldman, president of McDonald’s USA.

The Big N’ Tasty campaign is supported by two initial television spots starring Kobe Bryant. Developed by DDB Chicago, the first spot features a stadium full of fans, chanting for Bryant who is nowhere to be found. The viewer is then taken into the locker room, where Bryant is seen enjoying a pre-game Big N’ Tasty sandwich and then “shooting” his Big N’ Tasty wrapper towards the wastebasket.

The second spot, created by Burrell Communications Group and targeted to the African-American audience, features Bryant interacting with his agent. The two are in a heated negotiation on the agent’s percentages, leading the viewer to believe they are discussing Bryant’s contract—when in reality, they are discussing how to divide Kobe’s Big N’ Tasty sandwich.

Bryant and the Big N’ Tasty will also be featured in a full page, four color print advertisement that will run in the following magazines in February and March: Time, Sports Illustrated, People and Entertainment Weekly.

“Kobe fits perfectly into our ‘Next Big Thing’ theme at McDonald’s. Not only is he one of the hottest players in the NBA today but he also is an outstanding person dedicated to many of the same children’s charities and community efforts we are. We’re proud to have him on our team,” continued Feldman.

Bryant’s role in launching McDonald’s Big N’ Tasty is part of a recently announced long-term relationship with the company which will keep the NBA star working on a number of McDonald’s programs, including the McDonald’s All American High School Basketball Game.

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