Romance in the time of COVID isn’t a territory that many advertisers have ventured into thus far. But McDonald’s sensitively tackles it in a lovely piece of storytelling from Spain, featuring its drive-thru McAuto service.
The spot, by TBWA/Spain, depicts a boy, Sebas, who strikes up a flirtation with a girl, Alicia, who works at the drive-thru. He gets the butterflies after she singles him out (he thinks) with a free bag of fries when he stops by to order takeout with his friends. The ad acknowledges we're still in the midst of coronavirus, as both are masked and somewhat tentative when they shyly interact.
As time goes by, Sebas keeps returning to the drive-thru. Eventually alone, he summons up the courage to ask her on a date (which naturally would be at McDonald’s, and presumably socially distanced). However, he’s crestfallen to discover that the freebie fries are actually a promotion given to every customer with every McMenu order. Nevertheless, you're left with the impression that these two will eventually get it together—when all this is over, perhaps.
Directors Maxi Sterle and Rodrigo García Saíz at Central Films elicit adorable performances from the two actors, and as an example of a pandemic meet-cute, it’s one of the best we’ve seen so far.