Sunday, August 21, 2011
Money Better Left Unspent
Do you ever get the impression that McDonalds only makes commercials because they feel, as a huge conglomerate which has held the lion's share of the Fast Food Industry in the palm of it's hand for decades, they are kind of obligated to, and not because they actually NEED to?
I mean, the only explanation for the absolutely bottom of the barrel, zero inspiration "themes" found in McDonalds ads is that the company's execs, watching commercials for Burger King, Wendy's, and KFC, decided that even though they have no evidence that any amount of advertising will impact the apparently unlimited supply of taste-deprived fatsos who will waddle in on any given day to give their arteries another hit, they ought to throw some money into thirty-second spots anyway. So they went out and found an agency which relied on eight-year olds for inspiration and starving college students for "actors." The result is the most consistently banal, insulting, and downright stupid commercials to be found since the end of Punch Dub Days.
I mean, there is simply no way any of these ads are ever market-tested. Heck, there's precious little evidence that they are even pre-screened before acceptance and scheduling for air time. Pretty much everything in TV land labeled "McDonalds" looks like something we'd expect to receive if Ed Wood were handed $20,000 to produce thirty seconds of Something, Anything, No Questions Asked- a messy, disconnected jumble of nothing which Kind Of Sort Of Not Really relates to the "food" being sold at McDonalds. Featuring Pretty People of Appropriately Diverse Ethnicity (check out the white guys in both ads- Separated at Birth, or What?) Which ends with the Golden Arches taking over the screen at the precise moment that the viewer is thinking "um....what the hell was that all about?"
Hey, McDonalds, let me try to save you a little money (though I am well aware that you can spare it.) There is nobody in the United States who isn't aware of your restaurant's existence- after all, there are only about 14 million franchises scattered about all fifty states and the District of Columbia. I mean, not even Starbucks is as ubiquitous. If there is a population of people out there who are not patronizing McDonald's, it's not because we were unaware that you offer deep-fried chicken parts with dipping sauce "which make lips even smackier," this dope explains to his disciples (I like the "here we go" comment from one of them- apparently, a speech about the cruddy non-food they are about to eat is expected of this guy. Yet, they still hang out with him..)
Or because...well, honestly, I can't even begin to understand the point of the Annoyingly Made For Each Other Idiots Engaged in the "you go first" Ultimate TV Cliche Ad. No, it's simply because we don't think this junk tastes good, and we KNOW it's not good for us. No ads will change that.
And the people who already go to McDonalds? As long as there is a dollar menu and a lack of nutrition classes in High School, they'll keep coming, regardless of whether you buy ad time or not. So please, stop. Because these....these are just bad. Even compared to other ads. And that's saying a LOT.