There aren’t many brands that can get away with removing all brand identity from their advertising. McDonalds is one of them that can. The product is so ubiquitous that the purveyor of fast food can not only remove the golden arches, they don’t even have to show product.
McDonald’s has created a series of outdoor ads in recent years that have boldly expressed just how deeply the fast-food brand is embedded in our collective consciousness. McDonalds Canada created a series of outdoor ads that used cropped sections of the golden arches as a wayfinding mechanism. McDonalds France used a series of rain-streaked cityscapes to promote their delivery service. Although minimal in design, there is no doubt that this is McDonald’s. The latest from Leo Burnett UK, not so much.
This new series of posters from Leo Burnett for McDonald’s UK has taken renowned typographer David Schwen’s type sandwiches and created, well, type sandwiches.
There is no mention of McDonald’s anywhere on these yet you know exactly what they are from the ingredients listed. That is definitely a Big Mac and a Filet o Fish. This could be applied to the majority of the McDonald’s sandwich line with a similar effect.
“McDonald’s is a leader, only a handful of global brands can communicate like this. The redacted and graphic nature of this latest campaign exudes the confidence McDonald’s and its iconic products deserve.”
Pete Heyes, Creative Director at Leo Burnett.
It’s a pretty bold move and one that not many brands could pull off. A global brand like McDonald’s can get away with, and does with great effect.
So what do you do when you are the largest fast food provider in the world and you have just invented a layered two flavor shake that needs to have those flavors mix while eating? You hire a bunch of aerospace engineers to design a new straw for you, and that is exactly what McDonald’s did for the new Chocolate Shamrock Shake, one of four new seasonal McCafé beverages.
The new McCafé beverage has dual layers of chocolate shake below mint Shamrock Shake, and the new recipe presented McDonald’s with a unique challenge. How do youdeliver the ideal flavor ratio of 50% chocolate and 50% mint in each sip, versus enjoying each flavor separately with a traditional straw. To solve the problem McDonald’s turned to highly-qualified engineering firms. JACE and NK Labs created the probably-more-revolutionary-than-actually-needed Suction Tube for Reverse Axial Withdrawal straw. The STRAW’s j-shape provides optimal flavor flow dynamics.
Due to the STRAW’s unique design, only 2,000 were produced in time for Shamrock Shake season and it will only be available in select participating restaurants with the purchase of a Chocolate Shamrock Shake. Visit mcdonalds.mwnewsroom.com/US to learn where and when the lucky few will be distributed. (I don’t want the shake, but I definitely want the straw). And, like the seasonal offering of the McCafé Shamrock Chocolate offerings, the STRAW is also available for a limited time.
“It was a puzzling assignment but one with an ambitious goal,” said Seth Newburg, principal engineer and managing partner at NK Labs. “From a physics perspective, it’s actually quite difficult to deliver a proportional amount of both chocolate and mint flavors with each sip. But that’s exactly what we did. It’s a marvel of fluid dynamics. Thanks Fibonacci sequence.”
Pretty much everyone knows what a McDonald’s Happy Meal is. What most people don’t know is, while he didn’t invent the concept, Bob Bernstein of Bernstein Rein advertising in Kansas City polished the concept into what it became. That however has little to do with this post. The video below is for “Happy Goggles” McDonald’s foray into the world of VR and an attempt to sell more Happy Meals. The concept is pretty straight forward, the box has a lens kit instead of a toy. The box becomes the viewer, that your kids use to interact with a game designed for McDonalds. Right now it is being tested in Sweden, but I have a feeling they will roll this out worldwide if it shows any kind of success. The link to the website above goes to a fairly slick site that explains how it works and shows the game in action.
I’m not a fan of McDonalds food, but you have to hand it to their advertising. It’s usually top notch, and they do hire the best. McDonalds AOR Leo Burnett hired BUCK to produce the new animated TV spot for the McCafe line of hot drinks. Directed by Ryan Honey BUCK blends 2D and 3D animation seamlessly in the 30 second spot titled “Heart Winter”. The spot features nicely stylized, but not overly cute character’s clever transitions between scenes, and a fluid animation style all set to a jangly happy tune. It’s hard not to like the look of the commercial, even if you aren’t a fan of McDonalds.
Executive Creative Director: Ryan Honey
Executive Producer: Maurie Enochson
Associate Creative Directors: Jenny Ko, Steve Day
CG Supervisor: Doug Wilkinson
Producer: Billy Mack
Production Coordinator: Kaitlyn Mahoney
Storyboards: Morgan Schweitzer, Vincent Lee, Marcus Park, Susan Yung
Design: Jenny Ko, Yuki Yamada, Susan Yung, Gunnar Pettersson, Ken Gunn Lee, Joe Mullen
Cel Animation: Kendra Ryan, Kyle Mowat, Eric Cheng, Laura Yilmaz, Craig Yamamoto, Ben Conkin, Song Kim
AE Animation & Compositing: Nick Petley, Simon Ekstrand Appel, Anthony Madlangbayan, Zach Eastburg, Esteban Esquivo, Jake Portman, Ariel Costa
3D Artists: Wing Lee, Florent Raffray
I’m not a McDonald’s fan. I don’t eat there food, and I pretty much tell everyone else to not eat their food. Some of their business practices are questionable, as well as the way they make their product. With that said, I do like good visuals and this animated piece from Piñata and DDB is really nice. Great illustrations, sound design, and animation make it. It might be for McDonald’s but there is no denying the quality of the work.
Simplicity in advertising is something that works well, but isn’t always easily achievable. There are so many factors that play into making messaging overly complex, or watered down to the point that they lose their effective edge. Occasionally you see an example of an ad that hits that sweet spot of simplicity, with clever effect. The reflective billboard created for McDonald’s in the video below is a great example of this. By day, a blank image, by night a message only visible to to a motorist as they pass.
Agency: Cossette Vancouver
Creative Director: Rob Sweetman, Bryan Collins
Art Director: Addie Gillespie, Mia Thomsett
Copywriter: Addie Gillespie, Mia Thomsett
Producer: April Haffenden
I’m not a fan of McDonald’s. I don’t like the food, what they do to the environment, how they have impacted our health, the corporate farming principals etc. That stuff could be a whole blog unto itself, and that isn’t what I want to talk about here. What I want to talk about is the wonderful on street advertising done by TBWA\Zurich, Switzerland for McDonald’s. Taking advantage of the closed streets during Zurich’s largest street festival, TBWA turned street crossings into McDonald’s french fry containers. Each of these were placed at crossings near or outside of McDonald’s stores. I don’t dig McDonald’s, but I like how TBWA executed this in a fun and clever way.
Agency: TBWA Zurich
Creative Directors: Michael Kathe, Martin Friedlin
Art Director: Dominique Magnusson
Art Buyer: Christina Hengstmann
Account Manager: Guido Zehnder