McDonald’s "Come As You Are"

By Lippe Taylor / Posted on 03 June 2010


There’s a new advertising campaign for McDonald’s running in France that is becoming bigger than a Big Mac. It’s titled “Come As You Are”, and it’s meant to celebrate diversity by showing that everyone is welcome at McDonald’s.

The first spot features a teenage boy sitting at a McDonald’s table talking on his cell while his Dad is at the counter getting food. As his Dad approaches, he abruptly gets off the phone. By the end of the spot we learn that he was talking to his boyfriend, but Dad doesn’t know. There are at least two other executions as well, featuring different “kinds” of people.

Is this spot good? The intentions are. If it’s meant to show that ALL are welcome at McDonald’s, then it’s ok. I just wish Dad knew that his son is gay, would have been more meaningful. There has been much more ground breaking work in this area just in the last month on Glee and Ugly Betty. But culturally in France, I’m sure it works fine. The spot still accomplishes what it intends to do. And more.

The brand subtitled the spot in English and put it on YouTube, which is really how most of us are discovering it (approaching a million and a half hits already). There’s been debate on whether the brand would ever run such an ad here in the States, and by putting it on YouTube it is here! Very smart.

The ad really hit the spot light yesterday when Bill O’Reilly commented on it. He contends, rather aggressively, that he doesn’t understand the rationale for the spot, and that it would never run in the States. Never. Perhaps he’s just not the target market? Whether he then actually compared gay people to Al Qaeda, I’ll let you be the judge of that.

You can view the spot and Bill O’Reilly’s comments here.

What’s your experience? Jim.