McDonalds New TV Spot Reminds Me Of Death

The newest spot from McDonalds is a catchy, cute animated effort called “Archenemies”. The concept is fun and catchy — basically McDonald’s food brings together the most notorious enemies – Batman and the Joker, Packers fans and Bears fans, Democrat and Republican- the end result is archenemies “choose lovin” thanks to their shared love of McDonald’s food. The animation style and music is very catchy, very likable, and, in my opinion, very familiar. 

My guess is as the creatives at Leo Burnett (an amazing creative agency) were finalizing the best scenarios for each archenemy setup, someone shared this execution idea “We should do this in the same style and feel as Dumb Ways To Die.” If you have not seen this campaign, check it out here! The spot was recently voted one of the top 15 campaigns of the 21st century. Now it’s purely opinion on my part that this influenced the recent McDonald’s spot. And, let me say, creatives can unintentionally be influenced in their development of ideas. So, I’m not screaming “copycats” by any means. But my gut tells me there was a direct influence. It could have been purely strategic. To sell this unique concept the agency had to throw out a proven winner to the client- “We’re going to produce the idea in the style of the Metro Trains Dumb Ways To Die campaign, and you know how successful that effort was.” Whatever the cause, the connection exists and it makes me like the new TV spot just a little less than I should. It just doesn’t feel unique to me. It feels like a campaign wearing someone else’s clothes— a really dumb way to kill a potentially great idea.

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