Let's Discuss the McDonald's Corporation (MCD) 'Sign' Commercial

McDonald’s Corporation's (MCD) new ad has people talking

by Josh Selway

Published on Jan 12, 2015 at 11:57 AM
Updated on Jun 24, 2020 at 10:16 AM

Yesterday, McDonald's Corporation (MCD) released a commercial that sparked quite the reaction -- on social media, at least. The ad featured shots of McDonald's signs with different messages written on them corresponding to a variety of subjects, such as "Thank You Veterans" and "PRAY for the rescue of the MINERS." The description of the video on McDonald's YouTube page says: "For years, McDonald's signs across the country have been used to spread messages of love, hope and respect. This is a collection of some of those signs."

The idea was apparently to … well, I'm not exactly sure what the idea was. To show McDonald's is strong enough to change its sign corresponding to news? The commercial left me -- and, it appears, most people -- confused. The truth is, I busted out laughing when it ended. It just felt off. Maybe McDonald's heart was in the right place, but when I have several people texting me, asking, "Did you see that?!?" it's safe to say the message was rejected.

I can't speak for everyone, but there has never been a day in my life where I had been driving down the street, crestfallen and feeling downright blue, only to have my mood brightened by the hopeful words of a McDonald's sign. If the concept alone wasn't bad enough, some of the images used were questionable. For instance:

We Will Be Back Soon

The people of Wasteka, Illinois (where this McDonald's is located, according to its YouTube page), probably had a lot to worry about after this flood, but when McDonald's was going to reopen was likely not near the top of their lists. How soon could they possibly get this store up and running again? It's hard to tell, but that looks like several feet of water, likely causing significant damage. And who is this message appealing to? I don't think anyone would be traveling down the street at that particular moment: "Get the canoe! I want a Big Mac!" Also, you're telling me that McDonald's made someone go put up that message during the flood?

Then, we have this one:

Ed n Beth

"I have the best idea for mom and dad's anniversary!" I'm sure that these lucky folk were moved to tears when they saw their 30-year run of love honored in lights. I can only hope my kids care about me this much someday. It makes it even better that they didn't bother to spell out "and."

Now, this one is my favorite:

It's a girl

I really wanted to know the story behind this one. Luckily, McDonald's filled us in via its Tumblr page. You'll want to check it out.

McDonald's is trying to change how it's viewed by the consumer, since more and more people are choosing healthier foods, and sales continue to drop. However, it doesn't look like this new commercial is going to do the trick.

I respect companies trying to be part of the community, and honoring those who deserved to be honored, but they also need to have common sense and understand their place. There are companies who could have gotten away with this type of ad and made it into a pretty cool spot, but MCD's just doesn't cut it -- at least for me.


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