Wednesday, March 05, 2008

It's A Good Time For The Great Taste Of Bad Advertising

There's a new McDonald's advertisement on teevee that's really pissing me off.

Here's the synopsis:

(I'm recalling this all from memory, so you'll have to forgive me if I don't have the quotes exactly right, or if the events not presented in order.)

First, we viewers see a woman contorting herself to squeeze into her car. She can barely open her door because there's another car parked about three microns away from hers. She looks at the camera and says "Here's to close parkers."

Next, we're at the bus stop, where an earnest looking fellow says plaintively "Here's to waking up on Thursday and thinking it's Friday." The fellow next to him on the bench adds, "It's Wednesday."

Then we go inside an average-looking office -- gray cubicles and all -- where a nondescript guy in a white shirt and tie says "Here's to the accidental reply all." A coworker pops her head over the cubicle wall and scowls, "Nice, Jerry."

At last, we're treated to the glamor shot of some fattening albeit delicious McDonald's breakfast sandwich. The narrator says "Here's to the ..." whatever kind of sandwich it is. I can't remember.

Now, the analysis:

I don't know whether to laugh or cringe at this ad, because it's an abject failure. It's poorly conceived, written and structured.

McDonald's gives us three examples of modern annoyances: the close-parker, the e-mail snafu, that moment of realization that you had miscalculated the amount of time you'll have to spend in the office before the weekend begins.

Every single one of these irritations is introduced by someone saying "Here's to.

So how does McDonald's introduce its breakfast sandwich in the ad?

It has the narrator say "Here's to." The implication is that the McDonald's breakfast sandwich is the fourth item on this litany of aggravation -- not, as the advertising agency probably intended, the little treat that makes one's morning a little less stressful.

Here's to a job well done, McDonald's.

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