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Leo Burnett UK launches ‘Little Farmers’ for McDonald’s – but the problem’s a bit closer to home

Leo Burnett UK has produced yet another nice perky ad for McDonald’s – this time calling on ‘little farmers’ – kids – to support McDonald’s because all its its free-range-this-and-that products come from Britain and Ireland (so are, presumably, free of nasties – not sure about that, especially in regard to the latter).

But it’s a good ad, one of a never-ending series that paints a glorious picture of McD in a tastefully understated way.

But is McDonald’s a food experience, as this campaign maintains, or a restaurant experience? Actually it’s the latter.

And no matter how wholesome the ingredients you’re still presented with those depressing interiors, kid-sized seating and the faint smell of chip fat (or whatever process they use). You do rather overlook the ingredients.

I read somewhere recently that McD is going to sell breakfast sandwich Egg McMuffins all day, about 30 years after they were invented. If people want to buy them why not sell the bloody things? It hardly smacks of a responsive company.

I think McDonald’s is buggered as a worldwide brand because, as a big public company, it can never bring itself to make the radical changes it needs to in an era when compromised fast food has become, for lots of people, no contender at all to more exciting street food.

It would actually thrive by being sold to a private equity company that would be able to spend two or three years changing the whole thing and then come back with a format that did actually make its best food the hero.

That’s hardly Burnett’s fault. But could they work this magic with an ad showing a restaurant?

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About Stephen Foster

Stephen is a former editor of Marketing Week and London Evening Standard advertising columnist. He wrote City Republic for Brand Republic and is a partner in communications consultancy The Editorial Partnership.
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