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McDonald’s Nails It With “Signs” Ad

If this ad is any indication of where McDonald’s is going with their branding this year, 2015 is going to go down as Mickey Ds year of bold moves. Sales were down last year by a startling 4.6%. At least some of that is due to an improving economy as people with more money in their pocket start choosing somewhat pricier eateries. But certainly a good chunk of the loss can be chalked up to smaller and/or more localized competitors who have been pushing the anti-chain rhetoric hard the past several years. 

The new Signs ad pushes back in a big way against the perception that McDonalds is a big, distant and impersonal food behemoth. It reminds its audiences that McDonalds stores are part of the very fabric of their communities, that theyre staffed (and in many cases owned) not by corporate robots but by friends and neighbors who care about them. In that sense theyre the very definition of ”local”. Talk about co-opting a meme!

The fact that the ad has inspired no small amount of controversy only speaks to the power it has to provoke emotion. People who both love and hate McDonalds are reacting strongly. So hats off to the team at Leo Burnett, the ad’s creators — very well done gang!

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