McDonald’s is synonymous with fast food and the golden arches logo is branding at its best. The rounded, playful M is a highly visible, abstract pictorial logo that is easy to see, remember, digest, translate, re-create and it is seemingly non-salesy with no words to demand anything. Best of all, it glows on every highway and sidewalk answering junk food cravings everywhere.
McDonald’s has had to fight some steep competition with Wendy’s wholesome family image and Taco Bell’s chihuahua peddling cheap pseudo-Mexican treats as well as a larger obstacle: the health food industry. When adding healthy options failed they embraced their place in the food kingdom and made larger, unhealthier portions and continued to appeal to the family friendly experience.
No one gets the kids dressed up or worries about making a mess at a Micky D’s and, barring a few lawsuits, the playgrounds have always been a draw to busy parents who don’t have either time to cook or energy to watch their kids while they eat. The Happy Meals and on-site play areas make the dining experience one that is fun and inviting for the toughest customers alive—kids.
The cute little girl in the commercial plays perfectly into the family-friendly campaign. She is every kid who has had a baby brother or sister take away her attention. Every parent can relate to wanting to shower their newborn with love while not forgetting their other children’s feelings. The commercial also offers a common negotiating scenario of trying to get an upset child to smile (or eat). Here the dad’s paper heart is repeatedly rejected until he turns it into the ubiquitous golden arches which, of course, make the girl smile and forgive her dad.
No matter how we feel about McDonald’s or the idea that fast food bribery is more effective than love, the ad successfully addresses every parent’s basic struggles to feed their kids and make them happy. McDonald’s knows fast food makes life easy for families and can motivate billions of golden smiles and sales.
Morty Silber, CEO
Mad Strategies Inc.
a Wizard of Ads Partner