McDonald's Pokes Fun at Cliche About Senior Citizen Hearing in Swedish Print Ad

DDB Art Director Defends Potentially Ageist Advertising

Published On
Dec 18, 2013

Editor's Pick

McDonald's in Sweden has a new ad that is sure to make you look twice. The poster, by DDB Stockholm, promotes a new deal for senior citizens. It reads, "If you're above the age of 65, you get a free cup of coffee with any [meal]," and then repeats itself, adding the words, "We said..."

While we're unlikely to ever see such an ad in the United States, it's worth wondering if it comes across as ageist, or just fun. According to DDB Stockholm art director Gustav Holm, it's not about hearing badly, but about the cliche that old people cannot hear. In an email to Creativity, he wrote, "In Sweden even older people have a sense [of] humor," and that writing out what you're supposed to hear -- or not hear -- makes it even more harmless.