Here is a shot-by-shot review/analysis:
0:00 First impressions. The kid is sort of red-of-face. One cannot help but wonder if this is perhaps indicative of high cholesterol. But a child this young would have to eat a whole lot of unhealthy food or, perhaps, have a genetic disposi- oh God.
0:03 A watch? A bold decision to go with this heirloom considering Tarantino did it so well in Pulp Fiction. Perhaps McDonald's is not willing to spring for Christopher Walken, settling instead for an anonymous box whose performance is as wooden as its constituent parts.
0:09 Are we to really believe that these glasses belong to the boy's father? For an adult male's frames, they fit inexplicably well on the young boy's head. Why did the father have such a small head? Perhaps it would be more pertinent to ask "why did the father have a boy's glasses and where is that boy now?".
0:12 A little black book? Hopefully unrelated to the unknown-boy subplot.
0:18 Kitchen appears not to have been renovated since the 70’s. The sort of neglect one might see in a family which is outsourcing the heart of its home to a fast food franchise. By my count that’s two hearts McDonald’s has claimed from this family.
0:19 Holy hell, she got from the ironing board to the window demonically fast. Leo Burnett London would not allow a match cut this bad in a deliverable for one of their biggest clients so we can only assume the mother is a succubus.
0:26 EXT. POOR BUT NOT TOO POOR LOOKING SUBURB IN THE ENGLISH RURAL IDYLL - DAY.
0:28 “Big, cuddly.” -- we know why that is. “Tall as a house, big, big hands” -- but with a boy-sized head, right?
0:33 Free parenting tip for widowed mothers: leverage your son’s bereavement for his dead father to discipline him into an appearance of your preference.
0:48 Brainstorming meeting:
>> "we still need to build some aspiration into this sob tale”.
<< “The client is afraid that the culture of healthy lifestyle is devaluing its brand, why don’t we have the kid suck at football and say his dad was really good at football?”.
>> "I don’t get it".
<< “Well, childhood obesity is on the rise, right? That’s our target market. The little fatties must feel inadequate at sport so if we anchor those feelings of inadequacy to the boy’s aspiration to feel loved by his parents then, emotionally, the product solves both”.
>> "You sick genius, the client will love this".
0:55 “He liked -techno- happy hardcore?”. ”Yeee, also doing Es and getting blasted on the weekend. Back then the pills were quality.”
1:00 Turn you inadequacy dial up to ‘rejection’. Beloved dad was “a wow” with the *all* the girls but the smile of our unathletic reflection in the TV screen is met with a cold indifference by the approaching romantic prospect.
1:02 Solemn faced, devoid of romantic love, devoid of athleticism, devoid of parental approval, what’s a fatherless boy to do?
1:05 Forget that, arrival at McDonald’s has restored the bounce in his step. This could be you! Better have a couple of black guys sitting in the window... one of them rocking with laughter while the other one bites his burger. Deliciously choreographed diversity.
1:06 “Did he have blue eyes? Like me?”. “NOO000ooo. *_Brown_* . YOU GUESSED WRONG STUPID. DUMB KID, WHAT, WERE YOU TOO YOUNG WHEN YOUR DAD DIED TO REMEMBER HIS EYE COLOUR?". I’m going to stroke your face in a comforting but simultaneously condescending way so, in addition to your other flaws, you feel infantilized and intellectually inadequate.
1:09 Mother walks off shot for just long enough to capture the feelings of isolation and abandonment before...
1:10 ...*THE LOGO REVEAL!* Smiles, happiness, eye contact… rhomboid battered fish? Note the logo was distinctly absent from the exterior shots just gone -- wouldn’t want to associated the golden arches with sadness now, would we? Colour grading seems to get subtly warmer too. Outside McDonald’s = cold, sad, lonely. Inside McDonald’s = warm, happy, social.
1:16 Oh wow, who knew a Filet-o-Fish® could be so poetic? The moment he opened the packaging the connection to his father he so desperately longed to find was revealed. The memory box of his father’s personal possessions was useless; true solace is found in boxes of fatty fish segments hastily cooked from frozen by a minimum wage labourer.
1:22 “Tartar sauce, all down his chin” -- aww, it’s like the father/husband lives on through the son. May as well try and tap into that lucrative widowed/single mother market in the final few seconds I guess. Maybe the son isn’t such a bitter disappointment to his mother after all. Maybe the deceased live on through the condiments in McDonald’s. Hope for us all.
Afterthought: We never discover who the unknown-boy is. One explanation could be that it is an older brother who died at around the protagonist's current age for the same reason as their late father; the mother is a feeder and emotionally manipulates her loved ones into eating McDonald’s until they die of coronary heart disease.
Conceptually I like this. A kid distraught he’s not like his dad finds comfort in something small. I always loved these stories in tv. The main character always has to learn that they are their own person and such.
As you know, businesses of all sizes right from McDonald’s and Coca-Cola down to your local hardware store are trying to get a presence on social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter. Think of how many ‘Fan pages’ and advertisements you have seen on Facebook recently for businesses in your local area.
It’s a big thing right now and it’s making people just like you a lot of money.
what a lovely ad. My son is 13 and his dad , my husband died 3 yrs ago. We talk like this all the time and revisit all the funny moments the sad moments but importantly we talk about him everyday. Im tired of this culture where everything is offendable. We are going through it and i commend an ad like this. My son commends this ad. Grow up and just because its mcdonalds does not take away from the lovely message of rememberance
Oh my god, it’s just death, you people finding an excuse to tackle everything. It’s funny how you too are the people who get indoctrinated by the media. That means brainwaished if you’re too dumb to understand. I think this advert is very heart-warming and does not portray any bad themes. You people are just finding something to fight against as usual. Fight against the nice adverts but not the ones with the naked and inappropriate jokes. Cunts.
Overheard at Leo Burnett London: "Here's the deal. A good ad is about telling a story that hits them in the feels! Really knocks them over! What are the things in life that cause the most emotional reactions? Birth, marriage, death! That's the hard stuff! That's what everyone relates to! Picture this! Kid sitting alone going through a box of obvious memorabilia of his father. He walks in to the kitchen and asks his mom "what was dad like?" So we know dad's pushing up daisies. Punch in the gut right? Everyone's feeling pity... mom and son walk down the road - she tells him about dad - kid's trying to see himself in his dad - she's remembering fondly - kid's coming up short in every comparison - feeling like a total loser. Then they go into McDonalds. the kid gets a Filet of Fish - Mom says "That was your dads favorite! Kid's overjoyed - finally feels a connection thanks to a freakin' Filet-o-Fish! The world says AWWWWW! And everybody loves McDonalds, AMIRITE!?" Clueless marketing department of faceless corporation swallows hook, line and sinker.
DAD DIED OF A Friggen HEART ATTACK FROM EATING THAT SHIT SON JUST LIKE YOU WILL! This commercial is soooooooooo manipulative. I used to work in market research and 20 years ago it was creepy how much info they had and how much they knew how to apply that info to manipulate people in just minutes. All the boys with dads not at home, all the exhausted mothers....but get an ecologically catastrophic meal in which more is spent on packaging to be immediately tossed out than on the quality of the food itself.