A tasteful print campaign for McDonald’s France shows Paris at its rain-drenched best

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The Background

I worked for many years on McDonald’s in both the UK and North America as a CD and ECD. I kept it quiet for many years in the aftermath of Morgan Spurlock’s Super Size Me film.

I remember once shooting a commercial in Uxbridge when a tattooed woman wheeling a stroller and puffing on a Marlboro got up in my grill.

“What you shooting here mate?”, she asked in a gravelly, yet friendly voice.

“We’re doing a Big Mac commercial” I replied keeping my voice low to not upset the sound recordist.

“You should be ashamed of yourself” she boomed turning on the heel of her croc and storming off in a haze of smoke.

What They Did

That was a while back, but bit by bit, McDonald’s salvaged its reputation through diversifying its menu and refurbishing its outlets.

It worked hard on being transparent with how it sources ingredients and although we used to struggle to get half-decent directors to shoot our scripts, suddenly they were much more keen to come to the McDonald’s table.

I was proud to see them beginning to pick up awards at D&AD and Cannes again after quite a few years in the creative wilderness.

And that they will continue to do with this McDelivery work.

In France, they have been producing print work with a particular gallic flair and confidence that I can only admire. My art directing partner for over 30 years, Guy Moore, was the creative director on some very nice work from Cossette Toronto of mobile phones stacked to look like a quintessential Big Mac and a Sausage and Egg McMuffin for the Canadian delivery service.

The French work goes one step further in subtlety.

There isn’t even a hint of the product in its new work. All we are treated to is rain-drizzled windows in urban locations that bring a certain abstract nature to the landscapes.

In the land where the great impressionists plied their trade and haute cuisine is celebrated as another art form, there is a glorious irony in this technique being  applied to the delivering of fast food.

Of course, if I were to be trapped in a downpour at home, McDonald’s would be the last place I would order from.

The Review

Maccers, doesn’t travel well and a sagging burger with lukewarm fries delivered by a moped rider speaking like Darth Vader through his helmet visor, fills me with dread. (Blimey, did I just get Darth Vader and luke in the same sentence?).

Obviously, if I was on a jury, I wouldn’t dare mention this. The work is very modern, very minimal and very tasty.

I wish I’d done it in my time on the account, but the idea of delivery was frowned upon by the powers that be at East Finchley back then.

With Just Eat whisking GBK burgers around town with its scooters, it was only a matter of time before the Golden Arches succumbed to the demands of an ever more sedentary eating public.

In an increasingly visual world, where the written word rides pillion to a well worked image, these will appeal to international juries.

In Hindsight

It will still be accused of discouraging lard-arses from getting off their backsides and donning a waterproof cagoule to walk to the local McD’s, but c’est la vie, that’s the way the world is going and at least it has produced something aesthetically pleasing in the form of some witty posters.

Tres bien et vive la difference!

This scores four and a half from me.

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Tony Malcolm

Tony Malcolm

  • Freelance creative director

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