Commercials

How much did those ‘creatives’ get paid?

McDonalds' ad horror

Do you remember those awful McDonald’s commercials? You know, the ones that tried to convince women that they could enjoy a Sex and the City lifestyle by eating lard-ridden salads with their friends at the ubiquitous, detritus-filled, fast-food chain’s downmarket outlets.

Convincing and just a little bit insulting, weren’t they? You can just imagine Sarah Jessica and company taking their Manolos within 50 feet of a restaurant that considers lettuce both a food and a carpeting alternative. The idea that we’d licked so much paint off lead soldiers during our childhoods that we’d fall for this concept was the truly offensive part.

Anyway, while browsing through Is It Just Me or Is Everything Shit? (a review of which will be coming soon), I came across the entry “Fast food chains marketing themselves as ‘healthy’ (and feminist)”, which revealed that there was a print campaign to accompany it.

Oh the glory.

Under the headline “You go girls” came the following copy, each word of which is worth £1 million, I reckon, they’re that good:

“Spending time away from the boys is a rare and precious thing. Make the most of it while you can. Take a shopping break, put the bags down and find somewhere fun to eat.

”Yoohoo! – We’re over here.

“Girls, before you know it, you’ll be back home and showing the things you bought to the boys and unless it’s got cars or footballers on it – they won’t care. So have a great day, have a great salad, and sisters? Do it for yourselves.” (sic, sic and thrice sic)

So that’s another crime against humanity to level at McDonald’s. Not content with slowly destroying local cultures everywhere and polluting our digestive tracts, now they want to eliminate every last trace of individuality and soul left in the human race.

In this brave new McDonald’s world, women will be nothing but long-suffering shoppers, grateful for even a lunch in an international greasy-spoon chain to get away from their ogre partners, while all men will be micro-cephalic extinguishers of the female spirit, obsessed with football and cars. As Al Murray chortles a constant soundtrack of “and a dry white wine or fruit-based drink for the ladies” and the last of our brain cells is switched off, the men will be eating McDonald’s hamburgers, while all the women will be daintily picking at McDonald’s salads.

I feel demeaned just knowing this advert ever existed, even without having seen the full text. I imagine reading the full thing is somewhat equivalent to searching the drains after a drugs-house raid.

Still, I’m sure it worked well with focus groups.

Charlie Skelton ‘fit only for employment by the National Front?’

What is the Institute for Social Inventions and what has Charlie Skelton done to annoy them/him so?

“Charlie Skelton, a columnist, surprisingly, for the London Guardian, should be avoided like the plague. He peddles in print facetiously violent, murderous and offensive fantasies and in my view is fit for employment only by some Nazi or National Front publication.

”In my 30 years of experience of dealing with journalists, he is the first one I have felt the need to warn people about in this way.“

A sense of humour malfunction? Or perhaps confusion with Charlie Brooker, who also ran into some trouble with the humour-bypass brigade in 2004. Either way, the Institute for Social Inventions has some issues.