Monday, February 13, 2006

McDonald's Wants To Be "King"

Some of McDonald's new television spots for the Olympics feature a statue of Ronald McDonald sitting on a bench and people interacting with them. The explanation for this seems simple: McDonald's saw the success of Burger King's "The King" campaign, which was created by Miami based Crispin Porter & Bogusky, (which has turned out some absolutely phenomenal work) and decided they had to have one. These spots go completely against the grain of the urban and minority focused campaign that McDonald's has been hammering on for a while.

Psychologist Carl Jung originally coined the phrase collective unconscious. More recently, John January and Tug McTighe, of American Copywriter fame, use this phrase to describe the idea that two agencies working independently can come up with the same idea. This is not what happened with these McDonald's commercials. Some McDonald's executive probably decided the way to match the clever Burger King spots, was to imitate them using their own hamburger hero.

In addition to ripping off BK, the spots are also very inconsistent with the urban and minority targeted campaign they have been running for some time now. I really hate going to negative town on other people’s work because it’s easy to criticize and much harder to create. Granted, McDonald's have had statues of Roger on that bench for years, but they haven't used him in their advertising for about a decade. I know that the creators of these spots worked their butts off to put them together, but the idea they executed is just too close to one of their biggest competitors and is too far away from the direction they have been going to be coincidence.


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