Saturday, June 20, 2015
McDonalds, the...umm... "Realm of Happiness."
You know why McDonalds started putting "Playlands" in their "restaurants?" It's the same reason they've been putting toys in Happy Meals for the past several decades- to imprint on young minds the idea that McDonalds=Fun. It's just another take on the concept of "Comfort Food"- when we become adults, we are more likely to associate McDonalds with happiness, without even really knowing why. So when we are sad, moody, out-of-sorts, bitter, etc.-- in other words, Being Adults-- we will gravitate to the place that, for some reason we don't quite grasp, will make us reasonably ok with our lives, at least for a few minutes.
This commercial seems to be tossing the facade into the waste basket and blatantly exposing what is supposed to be this trade secret- yep, here it is, folks- McDonalds is sold to very little children as a magical land of fairies and fun and if you allow this place to be associated with All That Is Good And Comforting In The World, they'll grow up seeing it as a sanctuary from the Real World. This poor little girl- who seems to have OD'd on something, BTW- sees nothing but joy in a trip to the Land of Greasy Junk that can be purchased with the change found under the car seat. Mission Accomplished, McDonalds- here's another kid who is going to grow up eating your crap and not even knowing why, unless as an adult she sees this ad. And by then it will be too late, of course.
There are two parts of this ad I'm not even going to deal with, because- just too weird even for me. One is the Bluto character staring down at this little girl. I don't know what that's all about, and I don't think I want to. The other is the kid with the blue balloon- I don't know what he's doing, and I don't care. I will say that if kids are doing these things at my local McDonalds (there are about thirty of them, actually) it's yet another good reason to stay away.
Oh, and the kid who whips the straw out of his drink because he's decided it's a sword (I guess)- well, whatever. Kids will do stupid things like that, and make messes in the process, because parents aren't going to parent when they bring their kids to McDonalds. If they were interested in parenting, they wouldn't bring their kids to McDonalds, after all....