Tuesday, December 14, 2004

McDonald's Pathetic Commercial

Recently, there has been a McDonalds commercial airing which I find miserable and pathetic. The commercial starts off with a a hummed jingle. It continues with some shmoe guy with a go-tee telling his girlfriend that he is going to McDonalds and she says to order for her, because he apparently knows what she wants. Well, according to his voice-over, no he does not. And orders everything on the dollar menu. He gets back and pulls each item out until she takes the one she wants. He then retorts that he knows her better than anyone else.

What makes this commercial so poor? It's not in the concept, but in the execution.

First, the jingle bookmarks the beginning and end. It's not hummed in a special way, but just hummed. Kindof bla. Now, commercials are edited in several different ways and in some ways the jingle serves as bookends to the commercial. on the shorter edits, the jingle comes quickly, and becomes overused, thus becoming cheesy.

Now let's focus on the visuals. I feel the director was trying to do something cool and stylish, but in the end managed to ruin the McDs experience. It's a washed-out, grainy style with no bright colors. Hm, I'm not sure if that's how McDs would like to be known to consumers, as dreary and grey. It's important to be sexy and appeal to the public, but if you cannot come up with a reason other than 'because it's cool' you need to do some rethinking on your visual design.

Another poor visual design they try to get away with is the hand-held camera effect, or what I like to call 'shakey-cam'. I have often criticized against using this effect. If you don't have a reason to use it, don't use it. If you do use it, make it look like you're not doing it. Subtlety is key here. Over doing it will dilute its effect, and, wow, did this shister director ever use it too much. Not only does it seem like we're on a boat, but it is a fake movement, moving back and forth along the same axis. Cheese-ball.

Finally, the acting. Our director didn't tell this man how to act. He says everything with a fake half-smile, his delivery is lame, and his gesture to buy all of the dollar menu, fake. That gesture didn't look like he spontaneously got this ingenious idea to buy the whole dollar menu, but rather a flimsy, over-practiced gesture. You see, the trick to acting is not to act. Make it look like you've just come up with the solution just then and there. This wasn't done in any of the acting, so the characters seem banal. If you have the budget, get professional actors.

With all this pretentiousness, this commercial becomes diluted and a poor representation of the McDonald's campaign of "I'm lovin' it". I'm not lovin' it. I'm hatin' it. But yet, they continue to use it again and again. I've seen this commercial aired often, having been cut up many different ways. Sometimes with the girlfriend present, sometimes without, and sometimes without the actor requesting the whole menu. It helps get rid of the bad acting, but it makes the message very, very lame.

McD must have payed hamesomely for it if they are trying to squeeze every ounce out of their poor investment, but yet the commercial screams 'extra-value meal'. Hehe, they must've gotten it off some studio's dollar menu. So now you see why it's better to go with a moderately-priced director with design foundations, such as myself.

This makes me wonder. A company of McDonald's magnitude surely can do better, but alas, they chose not to. Has the level of acceptability dropped to an all time low, or is just McDonald's lack of descent employees?

1 comment:

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