Myrtle Young of Fort Wayne, Indiana, this one's for you. If the "potato-chip lady" who so amused Johnny Carson wasn't part of the inspiration for this spot about a McDonald's fry shaped like Abe Lincoln, along with the movies of Christopher Guest, she certainly could have been.
“Lincoln Fry” via Omnicom Group's DDB Chicago shows a couple who decide to auction the miraculous and weird fry online. McDonald’s promoted it at lincolnfry.com and really took bids for it on Yahoo, with proceeds going to Ronald McDonald House Charities. It was a hit with viewers as well as New York Times ad columnist Stuart Elliott.
Hundreds of thousands of people visited lincolnfry.com within a day or two of the game, and hundreds bid using the auction page, The Wall Street Journal reported:
Golden Palace Casino, the company that bought a 10-year-old grilled-cheese sandwich that appeared to bear an image of the Virgin Mary on eBay last year for $28,000, was leading the fry war yesterday with a $21,600 bid. "We are confident that we will end up on top," says Drew Black, a spokesman for the online gambling site. "Perhaps we'll take the fry on a promotional tour to let people see it."
All the online engagement and attendant publicity was designed by McDonald's and DDB partly to counter the viral success Burger King had enjoyed with its SubservientChicken.com, the Journal reported.
Golden Palace wound up winning, but not before being forced to increase its bid to $75,100.
(Christopher Guest, by the way, actually did direct Super Bowl spots, including “Little Black Dress” for Dockers in the 2002 Super Bowl, “Preproduction/Location” for the U.S. Census in 2010 and "Tibet" for Groupon in 2011.)
McDonald's other Super Bowl work includes "Pay With Lovin'" in 2015.
Director: David Shane. Production company: Hungry Man.
DDB chief creative officer: Bob Scarpelli. Group creative director: Paul Tilley. Creative director/art director: Tim Souers. Associate creative director/art director: Larry Ziegelman. Copywriter: Jay Manheimer. Group executive producer: Greg Lane.
Editorial: Whitehouse. Editors: Marc Langley, Matt Wood.