clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile
John Parra/Getty Images

McDonald's has been using "I'm lovin' it" as its main tagline, along with that ear worm of a jingle, for years. Might a change be on the horizon? Mickey D's has filed a U.S. trademark registration for the phrase "the Simpler the Better," reports Burger Business, which could signal a change in strategy to coincide with the chain's recent reversal of fortunes.

McDonald's had been slumping for years, and in 2015 it closed more stores than it opened for the first time in more than four decades — possibly ever. It will do the same this year, but the company seems to be headed in the right direction. In October, it reported a quarterly sales increase for the first time in two years, and it followed up with another good quarterly report in January.

So with a new outlook, is a new catchphrase coming? "We routinely file intent-to-use trademark applications as part of our regular course of business," a spokesperson told Burger Business. "We can't share details at this time as to how this trademark may or may not be used." The report notes its possible McDonald's will use the line for seasonal purposes or for store operations.

Any success McDonald's has going forward likely will have less to do with marketing phrases and much more to do with how the company does business. Despite objections from many franchisees, it appears the nationwide introduction of all-day breakfast last fall has spurred the Golden Arches' turnaround. Further menu innovation — such as expanding the all-day breakfast menu, perhaps — will be key going forward.