Watching the McDonald’s commercials, the most intriguing thing I walked away with was that McDonald’s is generally not interested in advertising about how tasty or delicious their food is. Their main goal is always to resonate with different demographics by connecting the presence of McDonald’s with different relationships, moods and feelings.
They’ve tried to connect themselves with love, happiness, fatherhood, motherhood, friendship and so on. Like most other brands, they didn’t really decide to settle on a consistent marketing style for their commercials, instead they chose to appeal to an audience in a way that if you’re with someone with whom you have a strong relationship, the first thing you’ll think about is spending time at McDonald’s having their food while further strengthening your bond with each other.
If you ask me, that is pure genius, but the downside is that this approach resulted in a pile of tonally jumbled up commercials with no single vision to tie everything together in a coherent way that would tell you that all these stories came from the same brand. The only thing you have with which to connect these stories is the presence of the McDonald’s logo in these commercials and that’s it.
So I began to wonder why is that, why it seems like McDonald’s is just not interested in tying together the artistic vision of these stories with which they connected with so many people around the world and became one of the largest brands in the food chain industry?
If you begin the intriguing journey of reading about McDonald’s history up to this date, the image you will probably walk away with is that at the end of the day, the only thing McDonald’s cares about is just handing out burgers in your hand in the most effective way possible to maximize their revenues and cut down their costs.
I never got the impression that they genuinely care about on a deeper level on how they appear to the critics and food lovers who don’t just like to experience the taste of their food but they also love to analyze their meal down to its finest details. McDonald’s obviously cared about it in the beginning because that laid the foundation of what McDonald’s would like to appear today but that was the end of it.
McDonald’s is now one of those industry giants who will no matter make how many mistakes, the general food lovers will always go back there for more and more because obviously McDonald’s now has a very profound effect on them with the biggest thanks to these tonally jumbled up commercials.
So the question is, why am I critiquing their commercials when in the end, they got the job done. They got the people to believe that McDonald’s is more than what it appears to be on a surface level. They got the people to believe that you’re not just having a McDonald’s burger, but you’re actually performing some necessary subconscious ritual which is always going to be a part of your life, no matter how small or big, but it is always going to be an integral part of it.
I’m critiquing their commercials because as a film director and a storyteller, this is very disturbing to me that not only these commercials are tonally confused, but the storytelling of these commercials is not intriguing enough even if you watch the commercials separately as standalone stories. But even while critiquing their stories, we again have to look at the fact that they got job done of connecting with people. So despite of all the uninteresting narratives, they resonated with the world because they targeted the one thing that is most important to everybody and that is the relationship you have with the most important people in your life.
So even though their storytelling is a complete mess, they perfectly executed their formula of getting their food from their shops into the hands of the general public.
This perspective that I presented to you was not to criticize McDonald’s food or their image or anything like that, but it was simply to exhibit my own love as a filmmaker for great stories. Because no matter how uninteresting I think their stories are, there is so much that we can learn from them on a deeper level.
So if you liked this blog, be sure to leave something thought provoking about McDonald’s in the comments and subscribe to my channel so you can stay tuned to some storytelling philosophy every now and then. In the hopes to connect with story lovers all over the world, this is Mr. Zeecon, in the making of a great story.
Did you ever think about McDonald's as being more than just a burger stop?