Archive for November, 2011

McDonald’s French Fries Commercial Is a Keeper

November 29th, 2011

When I was first starting out in the wonderful world of marketing, McDonald’s was one of the most creative and effective advertisers in the world.  For years their ads simultaneously tantalized your taste buds and tugged at your heartstrings, and they played a huge role in clearly elevating the brand far above all fast food competitors.  Sadly, it’s been at least 10 or 15 years since McDonald’s so consistently worked its marketing magic.

Recently, however, I’ve been seeing some signs that the old magic might be returning.  Perhaps the most encouraging example is their current  french fries commercial. This warmly-shot spot is charming in its simplicity, and the surprise ending makes me smile no matter how many times I see it.

This could have featured a customer saying “I love McDonald’s fries” or an announcer citing statistics documenting how McDonald’s fries are preferred over the competition’s at a statistically significant level of confidence.  Obviously, however, such flat-footed approaches couldn’t come close to the impact of having three kids running and riding full-speed off a dock in pursuit of a McDonald’s  french fry on the end of a fishing hook.

To me, this spot both reminds me of how delicious McDonald’s fries are and makes me like McDonald’s just a little bit more.  It’s highly entertaining yet almost believable. In short, it’s the ultimate fish story.

Subway Takes the Low Road by Entertaining Rather Than Selling

November 28th, 2011

I’ve never been a fan of Subway’s advertising )such as their cloying and annoying “5 Dollar Footlong” campaign).   Their latest  TV campaign, however, is a particular puzzler.  A lot of my friends and readers who’ve seen this campaign have asked me why the ads feature adults talking like kids, and my honest answer is that I have no idea.

The device of giving children’s voices to adult actors is arguably entertaining the first few times you see it. but it does nothing to make the viewer want to hop in the car and drive to the nearest Subway.  The ad doesn’t feature fascinating footage of the sandwich, or describe its tantalizing taste in drool-inducing detail, or give you compelling facts about its nutritional advantages.  In short, it doesn’t sell; it simply entertains…sort of.

If Subway was trying to make the point that its sandwiches “bring out the kid in you” or “remind you of when you were a kid”, using kids’ voices would at least have some degree of underlying logic.  But that’s hardly the case here.

So what’s Subway thinking?  I don’t have a clue.  And neither, it appears, do they.