Tag Archives: McDonalds

The Art of Deception in Advertising

advertising reality



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‘I guess that ‘Mac gettin’ eaten’

McDonald’s working with TBWA France launched this new ad campaign with simplified visuals (they call them “pictos”) of their food products.

(Click for a larger image.)


That’s it. Those are the print ads. Recognizable – but not exactly appetizing. However, on that note, neither was their song choice for the TV spot.

The campaign includes a short video of a band of McVandals painting the town with these pictos. The soundtrack? Azealia Bank’s ‘212’.

To say the lyrics of this song are a little inappropriate would be an understatement. And since this is a family blog (not really, but my mom reads it sometimes), I’m not posting the lyrics, but you can go check them out here. (Not you, mom. You wouldn’t like it.)

Sure they just used the intro of the song and none of the lyrics… but knowing the song, I can’t help to think of the chorus in my head while I watch this spot. And that makes me laugh… uncomfortably.


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Easy Morning

1338866572I like this new spot for McDonald’s, called Easy Morning, even if it looks nothing like the usual McDonald’s commercials . It has a Tim Burton-esq feeling to it. The music especially sets a very cinematic, very un-McDonald’s feel to the ad.

The spot was created by DDB Tribal, Vienna, Austria.

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McScuse Me?

ronald_mcdonald_by_iroisaac-d341ad7We started the week with characters from famous horror movies, so let’s end the week the same way. Direct from TBWA Paris, check out this bizarre ad for McDonalds.

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hamburger friesMcDonald’s continues to hit us with the “Pinky swear! Our food is real!” message.

Even overseas, where DDB Sydney along with Acne Production (gross) created the “Track My Maccas” iPhone app. Here it is;

This looks totally cool, and I might actually go into a McDonald’s to try it out.

Would it make me feel any better about eating their food? No. Will I still occasionally indulge in a greasy McChicken on days when I’m suffering a level ten hangover? Yes.

And at times like that, I have zero interest on where my food came from. I just want to eat it, and lie down.

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I’m With the Brand

I came across a fascinating documentary last night, BBC’s Secrets of the Super Brands.

It showcases the history of some of the world’s best know brands, including Coke, McDonald’s, Red Bull and Heinz. The host, Alex Riley, even discovers that some food brands are so powerful, they can actually affect our taste buds. If you’ve got some time and are interested in branding, I highly recommend you watch this.


Want to know more about the history of brands? Check out MOPOP, the Museum of Pop Culture. Their website, besides being filled with all the toys and fun stuff that brings back awesome childhood memories, has a brand section that showcases other popular brands and outlines their history – and even some dirty little secrets. MOPOP also has a Facebook page, so go check it out!



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Gruen Returns!

The Gruen Transfer, one of my favorite (Australian) television shows announced yesterday that it will be returning with a four episode Olympic special called Gruen Sweat, followed by ten episodes of Gruen Planet.

If you’ve never heard of Gruen Transfer and Gruen Planet, then you’re missing out. Gruen is an Australian television series which focuses on advertising, branding, spin and all that juicy stuff. The program is hosted by stand-up comedian Wil Anderson who hosts a panel of advertising industry experts like Russel Howcroft of George Patterson Y&R and Todd Sampson (so dreamy) of Leo Burnett.

Here’s a taste:

So as you’ve seen, the series has great segments, like “The Pitch”, where ad agencies go up against each other to sell the unsellable. Here’s two agencies trying to sell the idea of child labour.

Or this one, where agencies are asked to create ads to convince the tourists to visit Asbestos, Quebec.

And finally, “Ad Crunch”, where the experts sit around and dissect advertising creative. In this clip, they go after McDonalds and the launch of the Angus Burger in Australia.

There are a TON of episodes and clips online and I highly recommend you go to YouTube and spend at least an hour watching. Especially if you plan on catching the new episodes when they come out!


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At the Top of the Sodium

There are certain questions that seem to have no answer. How big is the universe? Why is Nickleback famous? Who shot JR? And why is McDonald’s the official sponsor for every major sporting event across the globe?

Let’s take the Olympics for example. McDonald’s first started slipping their hands down the pants of the Olympic Committee back in 1968, when they airlifted hamburgers to athletes competing in Grenoble, France.

Then the fast food behemoth became the Official Sponsor for the 1976 Montreal Summer Games, and was the sponsor of the National Olympic Committees in several countries around the world from ’88-’94. I guess you could call that ‘second base’.

By 1996, McDonald’s had fully mounted the Olympic Committee from behind. They joined the Top Olympic Program (the acronym is so fitting) and became a Worldwide Sponsor. In fact, McDonald’s was the first branded restaurant to operate in an Olympic Village, pumping the athletes full of pink slime, massive amounts of sodium and ingredients that you’d need a PhD in both linguistics and chemistry to pronounce.

Yes, I realize these kinds of events need sponsors. But perhaps the Olympic Committee could have found some that align with the values of The Games. McDonald’s sponsoring the Olympics makes as much sense as Marlboro sponsoring the Lung Foundation.

Here’s one of the latest Olympic sponsorship spots from McDonald’s, targeting kids, and using the Olympic mascots to sling Happy Meals. Super sporty, guys.

Furthermore, Leo Burnett London just released the following ad promoting another misaligned sponsorship, this one for the UEFA Euro 2012. MacDonald’s actually created something called the ‘Championship Menu’.

This spot, entitled ‘Seats’, is supposed to show the contrast between a high stress of watching a match, versus the relaxed atmosphere of MacDonald’s. Ahhh, the tranquility of trans-fats.

Thursday rant complete.

Straight to the top of the podium. Right after a quick nap.


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Welcome to the Land of Milk & Apples

Oh look. McDonald’s is pretending to be good for your kids…again.

This new commercial doesn’t feature Disney characters, burgers or free toys. It does, however, feature a kid-friendly animated goat who has an eating disorder and his companion Ferris, who takes him to McDonald’s for a healthy meal of milk and apples.

Milk and apples.

What was that saying? “Going to McDonald’s for a salad (or fruit) is like going to a hooker for a hug.”

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Breaking news (not really)! This really cracked me up (not at all). Out of home advertising eggactly on target with the brand (not to mention this opening copy); gimmicky and unappetizing.

Enough of that.

Leo Burnett Chicago thought up and installed a giant (very slowly) cracking egg billboard outside of a McDonald’s near Wrigley Field. Apparently a timer starts the “cracking process” at 6:00 am and closes the display by 10:30 am.

So that means the messaging is probably fully on display for a whopping three hours a day. The rest of the time, passers-by are staring at an egg on a stick. The idea is a good one… but the execution could have been tweaked to take full advantage of the concept.


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