McDonald’s Gave Me A Happy Meal

I am a big Vikings fan. I am not a huge fan of the NFL, I prefer college, but I do have a fondness for the Vikings dating back to my childhood when my father and I would root them on Sunday afternoons. So, last night I was watching the Vikings vs. Rams game instead of study for my psychology test tomorrow, and a McDonald’s commercial came on that made me smile. A happy meal for an aspiring account planner.

Here is the spot, and for those of you who don’t want to click it here’s a quick summary: three different people from different walks of life and in different moods start their day or meet loved ones to eventually make their way to McDonald’s. They are of course happy and delighted by their food.

I like this commercial for a few reasons. The first, and most important reason though is, it tells a great story. There is no selling and no sign of the golden arches until about two-thirds the way through. It is good storytelling and definitely more of a branding commercial. It tries to tell a brand truth that might not be accurate, but it could be believable. It tells you that McDonald’s is a place for everyone to come, eat and be happy.

Secondly, they show people dipping their fries in their shake. This is not a huge deal, but it was a nice touch. It made me smile as this is a minor controversy in the burger world, and it was humorous. Not only, but people will be more likely to try it, which means more product will be bought.

Thirdly, it is inclusive. McDonald’s is one of the few brands that is truly used by almost everyone. Every ethnicity and most economic classes have a tendency to eat fast food, whether it be for convenience or price, and they obviously know that. They hit almost all their demographics with three different short stories.

I’m not a big fan of McDonald’s, but this well done. Their agency, We Are Unlimited, did a nice job of positioning McDonald’s like a nice happy to place to be for everyone. This is definitely different from the male-dominated commercials of Burger King and Carl’s Jr.

I don’t think this is their brand truth though so I will knock them for that. After all, how many times have you seen that commercial ever happen? I understand the concept of trying to position yourself and make everything look good, but when I go into a McDonald’s people are in a rush usually. They are not joyously sitting down. I would have liked to see that instead of this, but this was still very good.

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