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Customer beats 76,000 entries to name that taste

Media release
15 January 2008

McDonald’s® customer beats 76,000 entries to name that taste

McDonald’s latest burger taste sensation has been given a name – the Downunder Deluxe.

The winning name was selected from a staggering 76,000 online and text message entries in the NameIt promotion, which asked customers to put a name to the taste of the new McDonald’s burger.

Winner Diego Valesi’s entry was of such good taste that it was the firm favourite of the celebrity judging panel including chef Simon Gault, ex Black Cap Simon Doull, radio personality Leah Panapa, and Shortland Street actress Kimberley Crossman (Sophie McKay).

Mr Valesi entered the competition after trying the burger at his local restaurant in Mangere. His creative thinking has earned him $10,000 worth of travel courtesy of Flight Centre.

“I’m ecstatic to be the winner of the NameIt competition and I'm really looking forward to deciding where to go with the prize – perhaps a Caribbean Cruise could be on my agenda!” says Mr Valesi.

Mr Valesi says it wasn’t hard to choose a name for the burger because he fell in love with the taste of it. “I love the burger; it’s everything Kiwis want – a home-style beef patty, grilled onion, cheese, salad and sauce – just like mum used to make.”

“I thought Downunder Deluxe was a good name because the Downunder part refers to New Zealand’s location while the Deluxe part recognizes the fact that it tastes fantastic.”

The world of burgers is not completely foreign to Mr Valesi. He spent time working as a crew person for McDonald’s at Auckland’s International Airport over 15 years ago.

“Maybe I was meant to name burgers for a living!” laughs Diego. “Is anyone replacing that guy Ken?”

McDonald’s Managing Director, Mark Hawthorne, says the company is very excited at the success of this interactive campaign.

“Putting the power of naming the burger into our customers hands excited both McDonald’s and the nation,” says Mr Hawthorne.

“The burger really has a unique taste and our customers have risen to the challenge - the response was overwhelming and a true testament to Kiwi innovation and enthusiasm. Unfortunately, at the end of the day we could have only one winner and one name.”

The Downunder Deluxe burger, with its home-style beef patty specially blended with red onion, parsley and Dijon mustard, accompanied by tomato, gourmet salad and steak and onion sauce, will continue to be sold at McDonald’s restaurants across New Zealand until 10 February 2008.


Notes to the editor:
- From the 76,000 entries only Diego Valesi entered the name Downunder Deluxe.
- There were four other variations of the winning name entered including The Downunder burger, Downunder, Downunder burger and The Downunder wonder.
- Downunder Deluxe was the 1472nd name to be entered on Thursday, 6 December 2007.
- Diego is a supervisor for the Air New Zealand check-in team.

© Scoop Media

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