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A Double-Whammy McDonalds Advert: McCafe and Big Mac

Big Mac advert

Recently, while out on manoeuvres, I had a close escape. Settling down to watch The Post (sentimental tripe) at my local cinehouse I was subjected to not one, but two McDonald's adverts. Clearly my enemies had found me and taken great delight into showing two adverts about the popular burger chain's Type II Edible Matter Products.

The first I have talked about before - the McDonald's McCafe advert - but there is a new iteration. This time, rather than poking fun at coffee houses themselves it's those pesky young people with beards and knowledge who are getting it in the neck.

As I have said before I'm ambivalent about coffee snobbery. On the one hand the achingly wanky hipster coffee houses of the world are an expensive and pretentious indulgence. But I've been in very few coffee houses that fit this bill. Most are cheerful, independent and employ local people and local ingredients.

mcdonalds mccafe advert

I've been into McDonald's 'restaurants' a couple of dozen times in my life, usually under protest and in a larger group,and I have never found them to be cheerful. Independent? Nope. Local ingredients? Nope. They might employ some local people - but let's not forget that economies of scale in business lead to fewer jobs than in comparable independent businesses. This is a statistical fact.

What I hate about this advert is how thoroughly, aggressively anti-knowledge it is. It sneers at knowledge, passion and skill - and by virtue of this it sneers at independent business, individuality - even thinking. "Get in line," says the McDonald's McCafe advert "and drink your cheap, shitty coffee lest people in the quirky cafe next door laugh at you."

It's the perfect metaphor for Brexit, where fear of ridicule, fear of change and fear of the Other overrides everything. Look at the bloke in the image above, terrified because the coffee guy is sitting down next to him and explaining coffee. Imagine living your life like the protagonists in this advert - forever afraid. And probably a bit racist. A disturbing vision for a resolutely Stupid, Fearful Britain riddled with terrible coffee.

Next, it's the anniversary of the Big Mac. It's 50 years old, which is probably the average life expectancy of someone who eats this rubbish regularly, their arteries probably harder than Chuck Norris.

I wouldn't eat a Big Mac if you paid me. I once ate a chicken McBurger after a drunken night out and the memory of the taste of sugar - in the bun, in the mayonnaise, in the coating - still makes me retch. Year later on a very early-morning work trip I ventured into one with some colleagues and rationalised that they could hardly fuck up a breakfast wrap.

Wrong. My overriding memory of this was a wrap and a frisbee of egg that tasted of, yes, sugar. No wonder people get all aggressive when you question their McDonald's habits - Maccies has got them physically addicted to the gak they pump into their food.

Big Mac advert

So I'm not moved to celebrate the invention of a burger that has probably sent thousands to an appointment with a specialist diabetes nurse. Not convinced? Here's an illuminating post about what eating ONE Big Mac does to your body and the potential consequences, which include the following phrases:

"raises your blood sugar to abnormal levels..."
"contributes to the likelihood of compulsive eating"
"These ingredients are also harmful and can cause obesity, diabetes and heart disease..."
"This huge amount of salt can result in dehydration..."
"This causes high blood pressure and can ultimately lead to heart disease and stroke..."
"you have lost control of your blood sugar, making you crave even more fast food..."
"The high-fructose corn syrup in the Big Mac bun...[causes] insulin spikes and even greater hunger pangs..."
"The burger’s ingredients can cause serious harm to your body, especially when you consume them on a regular basis..."
"Azodicarbonamide... is also carcinogenic..."
"...increases your chances of becoming overweight by 40%..."

Again, what's so obnoxious about the actual advert is the contempt directed at people who don't choose to eat this processed shit, as if you have to be some sort of weird elite to not eat crap. The response to the man who has never had a Big Mac? More contempt. I've never had a Big Mac either and there are few things of which I'm more proud.

The first time I went into a McDonald's - about 1988 - I threw the food down in disgust, much to the amusement of my classmates. One of them shouted acrosss to a nearby Maccies worker - in a situation not unlike the one portrayed in this advert - and said: "Our mate says your food is horrible!"

The employee looked from me to my mate, watched him scarfing down his Big Mac and pointed at me.

"He right," he said in broken English.

Then he pointed at my mate, wiping away grease and cow parts from his face.

"You wrong."

And off he went, sweeping the floor.

It's literally 30 years ago and I still often think of that chap - like something from a Hollywood film that makes the protagonist recognise some universal wisdom - and wonder where he is now. Not working in a Maccies, I hope.

What's always noticeable about these McDonald's adverts is the cast of people they include - like a pick'n'mix of regional working-class types. Look carefully, you'll usually find a workman's helmet in there somewhere. And families, oh the families. Because what sort of parent are you if you don't given in to your kids and feed them food you know is astonishingly bad for them?

Rarely do you see anyone in a McDonald's advert who is dining alone. Imagine what sort of sad bastard would be eating a Big Mac on his own, eh?

Because there is something almost unbearably sad about someone going to a McDonald's on their own and eating a Big Mac on their own - perhaps a single candle sticking out of a Big Mac bun on the occasion of their own 50th birthday, riddled with gout, gasping for breath and reaching for a vial of insulin.

Yes, happy birthday Big Mac and thanks for everything you've done for us.

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Choose February’s Worst Advert

nationwide advert sisters

Did you miss me? I've had to take something of a sabbatical from the adverts. In fact I've been receiving daily blood transfusions in an effort to rid me of the concentrated evil that's built up in my body from almost a decade of watching pure, unfiltered adverts. It's 1000 times purer and stronger than the stuff you get in your living room and when they opened me up there was the unmistakable sound of that tinkly piano riff from the Tui advert and a pulsating tumour with the face of Gio Compario.

As a result I'm still on a long road back to full fitness and can only subject myself to tiny doses of advertising. So I'm going to let you choose the current worst advert of the month, based on intel received from Facebook, Twitter and the good (meaning bad) people of the Suggest An AdTurd community.

But be careful. Only experts should watch more than a few advert in one go. Overdo it and you risk devolving into a bubbling, stinking mess of the proteins than probably go in chicken Mcnuggets.

Apple iPad Pro advert

You might question why anyone would ever think that a hateful, precocious child in your advert is going to connect with people. Then you realise that everyone who made and signed off this advert works in advertising or tech. Although I was given pause for thought when I recognised various bits of Brooklyn from my honeymoon there, which I guess makes me a big twat too. Ho hum.

Voices Nationwide Flo and Joan advert

People are literally begging me to make this advert stop, like when you see women in films who are so desperate to save their children they offer their bodies to Nazi soldiers or evil supervillains. Flo and Joan are probably lovely people and in the right place - a Radio 4 comedy programme in that slot where I'm Sorry I Haven't A Clue and Just A Minute usually reside - or some godawful hipster cafe I never have to visit - I have no problem with them.

But stick anything on television again and again - even Salma Hayek pouting or Tom Baker laughing or the Blake's 7 theme tune and it's going to become hateful very quickly. And if your song about a house that's so twee it makes people pull the same face as when they bite on a lime segment then expect hatred so strong it rivals Piers Morgan's utter hatred of himself for being a snivelling little cunt.

Go Compare Monster Bill advert

In search of new ways to annoy you, Go Compare has decided to mine the 'deliberately awful acting' seam to good effect here. Over 2 million people have watched this on Youtube. Two million. That's one in thirty people who have been taken over by lookalikes that hatched from a pod. And it is your duty to destroy them.

Also, is it just me or is the 'random people turning up in your house at the same time' thing suggestive of a porn film set-up? Looks like Gio is going to be comparing more than just home insurance prices with these two lovelies...

First Choice advert - The Turners Go Mahoosive

Who still says mahoosive? Even provincial commercial breakfast radio DJs are too embarrassed to say that shit these days. And as for the Turners' rap - how many free holidays did they get for it to be worth all this? And what an incredible way to absolutely trash your own brand. Could this look any more cheap?

Right, look. I'm going to say something now and you need to bear with me. This mixed-race couple thing. I'm a bit uncomfortable with it. Hang on, hear me out. Mixed-race couples are everywhere where I live - and that's not a good or a bad thing, it's simply a thing as far as I'm concerned. I can't think of a friend of mine who is not white who is not in a mixed-race partnership. Great.

If you have a problem with that you're a racist, basically and I want no part of it. And if you think it's 'political correctness gone mad', well I don't agree with that either. What's 'mad' about showing people behaving exactly as they do in the real world?

But on this First Choice it's like you can see the workings out, the base code behind it. You need a family rapping, but an all-white family rapping? Bit awkward. An all-black family rapping? Nice spot of cultural stereotyping. Like Goldilocks, someone has found this racial mix - and I don't believe for a second its a coincidence - juuuuust right. And the thought of that level of racial card-shuffling makes me cringe.

But, one a much more basic level, this is simply a crashingly devastating advert of awfulness.

Fiftylife Over 50s Life Insurance

It's hard to pinpoint what's the cause of the final product here, which is so hilariously bad you're constantly waiting for the punchline. Is the script, direction or acting most at fault here? I'm not sure but I'd challenge anyone to successfully pivot from a cheery 'Mum loved it here' to a solemn 'her death was such a shock'.

This actress clearly thinks so as she hasn't really bothered to change her delivery at all between the two lines. Her reading of that latter line suggests this was as shocking and emotionally devastating as the milkman delivering two pints instead of one last Tuesday.

Luckily Dad joins in with a reading of 'it hasn't been easy' suggesting he's bringing to mind a particularly tricky spot of grouting he's been tied up with. And is there a right way to broach the cost of your own mother's funeral? Perhaps, but reserving the manner you'd normally adopt for feigning interest in someone boasting about their double glazing probably isn't ideal.

The following discussion of the financial intricacies of life insurance makes it clear no-one intends to make any further effort to make this ad in any way naturalistic, a sense only heightened by a shot of the not-grieving father and daughter standing about an inch away from one another.

Oh, Fiftylife advert people. Your ad makes Johnny Depp and Amber Heard's Australian dog immigration apology look like Schindler's List.

• There are two versions for some reason. Why not see if you can figure out which is worse.

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