It May Look Like a Military Recruitment Ad but This Is Actually a Swedish Spot for McDonald's

Fast Feeder Is Comparing Working There to National Service

Published On
Jun 07, 2017

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Sweden scrapped youth military service in 2008 in favor of a professional army. Now, McDonald's is playing on that in a campaign that, as the country's biggest youth employer, compares working there to a kind of national service.

A spot by DDB Stockholm, which kicks off the campaign, is unbranded at first and has the feel of an army recruitment campaign as we see young people getting up early in the morning and dressing in a dark uniform. "In uniform we are all equal, regardless of gender, background or sexual orientation," starts the voiceover and goes on to stress the importance of being "solution-driven and focused on the task at hand." We see them straightening caps and tying shoelaces and finally, it's revealed that they're heading into the kitchen of a McDonald's.

Whereas national service in Sweden was previously referred to as "Doing Lumpen" ("göra lumpen" in Swedish), the campaign by McDonald's is encouraging them to be "doing Donken" (Donken is McDonald's nickname in Sweden.) And it's stressing that many of the same skills needed in the miltary are needed to work there and how many of the benefits (like meeting people from diverse backgrounds) are the same. At the campaign website, there's more information on how McDonald's handles a very diverse workplace and tries to turn diversity into a strength.

"Working at McDonald's gives you knowledge and experience for life. For many people, it is their first job, and they also learn to arrive on time, responsibility and teamwork. More than 150,000 employees have completed 'Donken' duty through the years," explained Jeff Jackett, director of marketing at McDonald's Sweden, in a statement.