It's not certain that McDonald's can ever truly atone for some of the sins it's committed under the "I'm Lovin' It" banner. When you've unleashed a bus ad bearing the tag line 'Yeah, I'd Hit That" accompanied by an image of a man eyeing a cheeseburger and when you've backed a "hip-hop" styled TV spot for McGriddles (sample lyrics: "It's 2a.m. What's up with your friend ? It's 3:42. That girl rocks-she's got more skills than you. Now it's 5:38. Thoughts of McGriddles make my stomach quake") the road back is long. Significant steps have already been made; this campaign can be considered a leap forward. In this series of spots out of Leo Burnett, we are taken inside the private lives of McD's menu items and discover a rich inner world where conflict and the search for identity play out against a stainless steel backdrop. In one of the best spots, "Filet O Fish" one sandwich attempts to correct the lower class pronunciation of another in a humorously drawn-out, bare bones product shot exchange. Other spots similarly linger, up-close, on McDonald's foods in various states of preparation, layered with accompanying voiced-over drama.
Director Aaron Ruell once again lets his freak flag fly and delivers a varied and watchable cast of characters (given that they are all, um, food) and captures the claustrophobic humor in the minor struggles of bun and beef and fried potato.
Seemingly minor details, such as interesting flat, and in some spots, unusually realistic food shots, and the almost mocking treatment of the beloved audio tag add up to big things for McDonald's creative. Sure, the spots borrow a page from the Burger King weird-is-good playbook, but the end result endows one of our most awkward advertisers with a personality. And, in the end, the spots work. It's pure make-you-hungry product shot advertising with a ridiculous twist, and such a thing should always be awarded points for difficulty.