A fine line of emotion
On May 16, 2017, McDonalds released an advert in the UK centered around a boy asking his mom about what his dad was like. The mother goes on to explain how the boy is nothing like his father. That is until the very end when they stop at McDonalds and the boy orders the same sandwich his father always ordered and ate it in the exact same way.
You can see the message McDonald’s was trying to get across, but the way they portrayed it was done very poorly and was not accepted well by it’s viewers at all. Shelley Gilbert, a psychologist, was quoted by The Guardian saying that one in every sixteen children are affected by bereavement, and it is not a light matter. She continues on to say that McDonalds is being perceived now as a company who has manipulated the misfortunes of many children.
This is not something that a company would want for their Public Relations, especially a company like McDonalds who often caters to children. This campaign they were running in an attempt to connect people’s emotions to their food took a very sharp turn in the wrong direction with this advert.
Once this commercial was released and McDonalds started receiving the backlash and disapproval from their viewers they automatically pulled the ad and sent out an apology. McDonald’s statement to PRweek went as follows, “We apologise for any upset this advert has caused. This was by no means an intention of ours and we regret some have interpreted it in a negative way.”
McDonald’s attempt at fast recovery for this advert was most likely as good as they could have done without causing anymore damage. They apologized while letting their audience know that this was not their intent. The biggest problem with their PR work on this campaign is that people are seeing this as an obvious message that McDonalds shouldn’t have overlooked and that they did this on purpose.
My suggestion to McDonalds after this incident is that they come out with a new advert. They don’t want it to seem like they are covering up their past, faulty actions, but they need to do something to redeem them from this misinterpreted message that they connected to their company.