Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What a beautiful (and misleading) McDonald's ad!

I have a six-year-old son, and despite my best efforts he thinks McDonald's is really, really awesome. But this ad was made to appeal to me. And it failed.

Cute, eh? The apple tree grows up, and the bird has babies who eventually leave the nest. And the John Denver-y music! Oh, so tear-jerking for a parent!

Because, despite the fact that McDonald's food really appeals to kids, ads like these are all about two things:

  1. If you love your kids, you will take them to McDonald's to show it
  2. The food isn't nearly as nutritionally useless as you might imagine

We all know that when kids think "Happy Meal", they think apple slices and milk! Right?

At least I'm honest about it. When I rarely cave and take Ladman to McD's, he gets whatever he wants. And that's Chicken(esque) McNuggets, fries, and (possibly) a shake. He eats healthy food at home. Why on earth would I pay McDonald's to slice his apple for him? (And give him some sugary crap to dip it in.)

"WTF, Mom?!? I said HAPPY meal!"

I know what they're doing here. They're trying to make parents feel less guilty. But it's a shame that junk food can't just be a treat. I hate it when people want to fool themselves, and I hate it even more when advertisers want to help them do it.

Ad by Leo Burnett. See more of the campaign at Ads of The World.

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