by Trey Campbell, firstname.lastname@example.org
While I typically do not endorse products or include placements on this particular blog, mostly because no one has approached me about it (though I can be bought…), I wanted to say a few words about something I found somewhat refreshing, insightful, and uplifting while watching the NFL playoffs.
Having a career and degree in communications with a double-minor in Marketing and American Culture, I’m often intrigued by both the creativity and messaging that goes with commercials. This particular advertisement was for McDonald’s. Yes, you read that right. From the company that has spent no telling how much on advertising and clown wigs to sell their burgers, fries, and nuggets. If I could have back the money I’ve spent over the years between myself, my wife, and my kids, I could probably open my own franchise. But that is neither here nor there…
While McDonald’s has served “billions and billions,” as noted by the yellow letters under the famous golden arches of the fast-food behemoth’s signs, their advertising is also seen by millions and millions.
In one of their latest campaigns, “Every sign tells a story,” I think they hit the nail on the head. At mcdonalds.tumblr.com, the company posted:
Since the first McDonald’s signs went up, local owners have been using them to say a lot more than just Billions Served. Over the years, in good times and in bad, you might have noticed the sign at your local McDonald’s bearing a message from the heart. Whatever the message, there’s a story behind every one that captures a moment in time and reflects the lives of the community it serves.
This commercial has over two million views on Youtube. While that’s impressive, it’s not the views or production value of it, but rather the content of message that matters. I counted twenty signs make the cut for the commercial. The part that made me take notice is how the company unabashedly promoted values and community which also included the words “God” and “prayer” in at least four. Here’s the full breakdown in which I self-categorized:
Breast cancer (with pink arches): 1
Celebratory occasions: 4
I applaud the McDonald’s Corporation for distributing content that stirs emotions and instills a hometown pride through positive messaging. The message of survival rings true in the busted out sign that says, “Open for business,” or the pink arches in support of breast cancer awareness. The message of prayers for an individual, for the nation, or even the Colombian miners strikes a chord in all of us as we are reminded we can and should come together in prayer as a community. Through a yellow sign with black lettering, we can commemorate events and pay our respects as a community.
It sounds trite, but McDonald’s is a familiar sight to anyone just about anywhere. We grew up with them. My daughter counts McDonald’s fries as one of the food groups. The familiar golden arches is part of the fabric of America. And whether we like their food or agree with anything else they stand for, it’s nice to see they made an attempt to reach out to their audience in a way that pays respect to the values we hold dear – both as Christians and non-Christians alike. Even if it is to sell more food…
Link for commercial on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=93KTpF9JDWo