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McDonald's 'Passing By' Advert

 

Analysis > McDonald's 'Passing By' Advert

 

McDonald's released the following advert in 2009 in the UK, which is rather clever.

 

 

The advert was created by agency Leo Burnett and manages a neat balance of poetry and pictures of a happy set of McDonald's campers, portraying it as a pleasant home from home.

The inspiration apparently came from Rolf Harris, who Art Director Guy Moore saw on TV breaking into his rendition of 'The Court of King Caractacus' on a UK TV program. Narrated by actor David Morissey in classic laid-back narrative-poetic style, the 'McDonald's for everyone' advert in 40 seconds shows a wide range of people turning up, from hippies to professionals to children and plain folks. Whilst the product is present, the focus is on the people. It's a diverse and idyllic environment where anyone is welcome and everyone is comfortable.

There's a number of subtle persuasive principles at play here. First, the diverse customer base gives plentiful opportunity for watchers to associate with at least one of the people there and so see themselves in McDonald's. There's also odd hints like 'the brekkie types' where the message 'we're open early' is flagged and 'the hard to please' where food quality is implied. Families are targeted with happy children being well-represented, as are people from a range of ethnic and other different groups.

The poetic soundtrack is pleasant and read in a friendly voice, supporting the smiling and relaxed visual images. The 'just passing by' theme from King Caractacus both invokes the Rolf Harris friendliness and hammers home the principle that people were 'just passing by' and all decided to go inside.

Interestingly, the outside shot at the end shows the McDonald's sign on a dark green background rather than the usual red, which perhaps implies they are changing to a more 'world-friendly' position.

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