McDonald’s is beginning its 25th anniversary year with a
celebration of the appeal of the Happy Meal in a new spot called
The fast food giant’s latest ad breaks this weekend, just as McDonald’s
attempts to shake off the adverse publicity surrounding its bungled ’two
for one’ Big Mac offer. A written apology appeared on full-page ads in
the national press this week to the many customers who were denied free
Big Macs because uptake on the promotion, which was advertised
extensively over the Christmas period, exceeded expectations.
Leo Burnett’s new 30-second commercial presents an altogether more
harmonious image for McDonald’s. It shows a young boy watching
television as his teenage sister mopes upstairs in her bedroom. He
follows her up to her room to ask if she’s all right, but she sullenly
tells him to go away.
Remembering that a Happy Meal always cheers him up, the boy goes into
his own room, extracts pounds 2 from his piggy bank, and takes off to
On his return he cautiously climbs the stairs, enters his sister’s room
and places the Happy Meal down. He then asks her again if she’s all
She looks at the Happy Meal and then signals to her brother with the
faintest of smiles that she is OK.
The boy then slips the one pence change into his piggy bank and goes
back downstairs to watch football with his dad who slaps his legs for
having his feet on the coffee table.
The commercial was directed by Kirk Jones through Tomboy and written and
art directed by Mark Thompson and Paul Taylor.
Meanwhile, Ammirati Puris Lintas is attempting to capitalise on the bad
publicity generated by the two-for-one offer with a campaign for Burger
King which is appearing on sandwich boards outside McDonald’s
restaurants in central London.
The boards, which carry the Burger King logo, read: ’Sorry - no 25th
anniversary whoppers here (just flame grilled ones).’
McDonald’s said this week that the company had been prepared for sales
of two million Big Macs as a result of the two-for-one offer, but
customer demand was double expectations.
Advertiser of the Year, p28.