McDonald’s recently released an ad in the UK about a boy and his dead father.
McDonald’s has already apologized for releasing this recent ad. It starts off with a young boy who seems to have no memory of his father. The boy then starts talking to his mother who describes his father to him. It’s clear that the young boy has almost nothing in common, from his athletic ability all the way down to his eyes. But at last, the one thing this boy and his father had in common was the fact that they both enjoyed a Filet-O-Fish.
Viewers were quick to criticize this ad, as McDonald’s originally refused to take it down. It has been called offensive, exploitative, and cynical. Many people who grew up with single parents were extremely upset with the way the ad commercialized a deceased family member.
genuinely in shock at @McDonalds most recent advert
forgot losing a parent at a young age is fixed by a filet o fish
— callum (@Callum_BTN) May 16, 2017
New #McDonalds advert, cynically using the story of a kid's dead dad is trashy beyond belief. Who needs 2 parents when you have McNuggets?
— Tony Richman (@TonyLRichman) May 12, 2017
McDonald’s released a statement saying, “We apologize for any upset this advert has caused. This was by no means an intention of ours. We wanted to highlight the role McDonald’s has played in our customers’ everyday lives—both in good and difficult times.”
This is another example of marketers attempting to tackle taboo topics, like deceased family members or divorce. The product should always come secondary, not first. According to a spokesperson, Mcdonald’s will “review [their] creative process to ensure this situation never occurs again”.
Take a look at the ad and weigh in on what you think: