McDonald's is taking a nostalgic and heartfelt look at a pair of Chicken McNuggets fans to promote the removal of artificial preservatives from one of the chain's best sellers.
A new commercial from Leo Burnett Chicago and directed by Story Films' Blair Hayes uses a split-screen technique to tell a "parallel lives" story of the two McNuggets eaters. On the left, a young boy, seemingly in the 1980s, passes his love of basketball, video games, biking riding and dogs to a young girl, in present day, on the right side. Details show that while their interests are similar, the things they enjoy, from bicycles to console controllers, have evolved.
The ad gives a final tug at the heartstrings when the boy hands over his Chicken McNuggets Happy Meal, and the splitscreen cuts out to reveal that he's actually the girl's father.
A slow, moving cover of the 1980s Cyndi Lauper hit "Time After Time" plays during both 60-second and 30-second versions of the commercial.
Chicken McNuggets have been on McDonald's national menu since 1983, and removing artificial preservatives is one way the chain is trying to answer diners' calls for food they feel better about eating. The Golden Arches recently began using the tagline "The Simpler the Better" to discuss its food in greater detail.
Leo Burnett Chicago also created a full-page print ad that ran in Tuesday's The New York Times and Washington Post outlining some of the work the company has been doing.
"We're taking steps to ensure the food we're proud of is food you love, and feel good eating," a section of the print ad reads. "All while introducing new tastes and ingredients that can make the entire food industry better."
Along with outlining the recent changes, the print ad tells readers about some of McDonald's long-standing practices, such as using freshly cracked eggs in its Egg McMuffins.
On Monday, McDonald's announced the removal of artificial preservatives from McNuggets, pork sausage patties, and some egg products and other updates, such as switching from high fructose corn syrup to sucrose in its buns.