TAG | McDonald’s
McDonald’s released a gay-friendly television advertisement in France, and by the powers of the internet, it went viral. The YouTube video has over 1.2 million views in just over a week.
The ad is part of McDonald’s campaign in France, “venez comme vose êtes,” translated to “come as you are.” Simply themed: McDonald’s respects and welcomes diversity.
From a marketing perspective (not that I studied it, or anything), the ad is excellent.
First, a direct critique of the advertisement itself: the writing is clever and the execution is perfect. The son’s facial expression, at 0:32 in the video, after his dad says, as translated, “too bad your class is all boys,” is priceless. The son is in the closet, yet there is no struggle or sadness or sorrow in the reminder. Instead, that smile says, “thank you for giving me another chance to remember and think about the man I like/love.”
Second, a broad assessment of the ad and the campaign: again, McDonald’s is smart. You would have to be an idiot to not advertise to a diverse crowd these days; doing otherwise is bad policy that will put your company out of business in the future. The times of straight-white-male dominance are ending. Broadening your market is the smart business decision.
After showing the ad, O’Rielly’s first comment: “Now my question is: does that make you want to buy a Big Mac?” He brings on a guest, Jane Skinner, and asks, “Now does that make you hungry?” She jokingly answers, “Well, I’m not a gay man so I can’t really answer that question.” (Stupid answer. The ad speaks to all diverse groups and those that welcome diversity.) Then there’s a little more banter and she adds, “What does being gay have to do with eating a hamburger?” O’Reilly really cannot drop the need for this ad to invoke hunger, again asking, “So you’re not hungry after watching this, right?”
Summarized, O’Reilly suggests that all ads must lead to a direct craving for whatever product is being advertised. After implying the ad would not make the majority or people hungry, he says, “I don’t know why they would do it.”
I don’t think O’Reilly is really that stupid and naïve to marketing practices, but I’ll respond anyway. There is this concept in the marketing world called brand management and public relations. Companies advertise their brand, their brand’s culture, their brand’s ideals, etc. No more needs to be said on that point.
O’Reilly then continues: “it will never run in the U.S.A.”
I agree that, presently, it would not be run in the U.S. Our society, as a whole, is not as accepting or open-minded as those in Europe. A company, such as McDonald’s, would not risk losing their customers in our simple-minded America.
But how short-sighted is O’Reilly? Do these old-white-male-conservatives really not understand that they are becoming extinct and their old-fashioned views are following them to the grave? An ad like this will run in the U.S. in the next 10 years. Easily. Remember how Manhunt ads appeared on SI’s website? And the gay-dating ad that almost made it into the Super Bowl rotation?
Further, look at the ‘likes’ versus ‘dislikes’ on the YouTube videos as a basic means to measure society’s perspective. McDonald’s ad: 5396 likes, 981 dislikes (84.6% like); O’Reilly’s segment: 11 likes, 46 dislikes (19.3% like). Certainly not scientific, but noteworthy nonetheless.
After his guest mentions that the ad is part of an inclusive campaign, O’Reilly contributes this gem of bigotry: “Do they have an Al-Qaeda ad? … Come as you are and, you know, … *boom*”
Um, did he just compare gays to terrorists?
Even if he didn’t, how close-minded is that anyway? He’s the type of person that sees a male wearing a turban or a female wearing a hijab, and immediately classifies them as an Islamic terrorist. You know, I would love to see one of the ads in this campaign target Islamaphobia (a new word I picked up reading John Amaechi’s latest blog post). Have an Islamic female walk around town in her traditional clothing, note the judging stares she receives, and then have her walk into McDonald’s to a warm, “Welcome to McDonald’s, how can we help you today?”
Or how would O’Reilly receive an ad that targets a diverse demographic within his own conservative base of followers? Show some Mormon missionaries knocking door-to-door and the repetition of doors slammed in their face (as is the common result). Then, have the pair go to McDonald’s to an open door and the message, “come as you are.” How would O’Reilly respond then?