McDonald’s has launched a new ad campaign that aims to celebrate the diversity of its customers, and one of the spots, featuring an interaction between a father and his gay teenage son, is gathering a lot of attention online…
The campaign, from BETC Euro RSCG in Paris, sees the brand move away from its usual focus on the traditional family set-up to recognising a wider clientele. Alongside the afore-mentioned father-son ad, there is another featuring two ‘silver surfers’ shown adopting new identities online, and a final ad, cut from the more traditional mould, that illustrates the similarities between a mother and daughter. The ads are directed by French cinema director Xavier Giannoli.
It is the ad featuring a father and son that is causing discussion online, however. The spot shows the son talking to his boyfriend on the phone before his father joins him. It then becomes clear that the father is unaware of his son’s sexuality as he jokes about how he “could get all the girls”. The spot is in French but a subtitled version has been leaked online, and viewed over a million times on YouTube.
Much of the discussion online has been focused around whether McDonald’s could do a similar ad for the US market – though of course with the internet, all ads are global now, especially if they go viral. It is testament though to how middle-of-the-road McDonald’s’ image is that such a coy spot is causing controversy. Whereas Burger King’s advertising has ploughed an experimental path, McDonald’s’ has always been exceptionally safe. It will therefore be interesting to see where the brand’s marketing goes from here – will the attention this spot has garnered see the brand adopt a new ‘edgier’ strategy, or will McDonald’s simply return to its conventional roots?
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