"Ba da ba ba ba!" The simple and catchy jingle that automatically draws our minds to the infamous Golden Arches. But there is a not-so-simple back story behind McDonald's longest running marketing campaign

Over the past 15 years, "I'm Lovin' It" has become McDonald's most popular slogan in the restaurants history, thanks to the help of a tiny German ad agency, Heye & Partner. 

In 2003, the fast-food giant was seeing trouble in business. In an attempt to draw customers back to their doors, McDonald's held a competition amongst 14 international ad agencies to deliver a new marketing strategy to the world. Heye & Partner presented the winning idea “ich liebe es,” which translates to “I love it.”

So, how did Justin Timberlake get wrapped up in this whole thing? Well, "I'm Lovin' It" isn't just a 5-second jingle, it's a full-blown JT song. 

The idea was to first incorporate the message into pop culture, have consumers resonate with the message, and then associate the message to the brand. Much like how Timberlake's 2016 "Can't Stop the Feeling!" topped the charts several months before the release of the movie Trolls

The same year as it's release, Timberlake was paid out $6 million by McDonald's for his involvement in the jingle. The song was originally produced by The Neptunes and is credited as being written by Pharrell Williams, Tom Batoy, Franco Tortora and Andreas Forberger, Heye creative director.

Pusha T

RODA Fotografía on Flickr

But the story doesn't stop there. In 2016, marketing CEO of Translation ad agency, Steve Stoute, says rapper Pusha T was behind the song long attributed to Pharrell and Timberlake. According to Stoute, Pusha T wrote the original lyrics for the jingle, while Pharrell and others helped in production.  

In an interview with Rolling Stone, Stoute commented on the constroversy: "You know who did that? Pusha T. That's crazy that Pusha T wrote the song to McDonald's!"

In the end, dozens of conspiracies are still afloat about who did and did not have a stake in the multibillion dollar ad campaign.

Regardless of who you think should rightfully wear the crown of the "I'm Lovin' It" creator, the jingle will continue to live on ringing in our heads—so well done, McD's.