Is there any connection between the pressure that's been brought to bear on fast-food advertisers and the ever-improving work being done for McDonald's?
Perhaps the old days of promotional offers to kids, movie tie-ins and free toys made for lazy advertising? Perhaps now there's a focus on appealing to grown-ups, which requires a more thoughtful approach? Perhaps the need to underline the quality of its ingredients has highlighted the need for quality advertising? Anyway, what's certainly true is that McDonald's now boasts some of the better ads in its category and, with this latest campaign, one of the better ads on TV.
The new work, by Leo Burnett, is simply, feel-goodly lovely. It's full of the sort of back-to-nature whimsy that is permeating so much of the media at the moment. So we see smiley parents and kids getting dirt under their fingernails sowing seeds, building fences – you know, fashionable stuff like that. All to a happy-happy whistling soundtrack that you won't be able to shake out of your head.
It's wholesome. It's lovingly shot. It's a bit familiar (Waitrose? Heinz salad cream?). The truth is, it's wonderfully middle England and middle class – and that, I suspect, is exactly where McDonald's would like to be. There are fewer fat people there.