McDonalds has recently launched an online/offline integrated campaign across Cyprus, with the message, ‘now hiring, our team wants you.’
Some of the visuals show images of young McDonalds trainees with Down syndrome feeling happy about being hired and working there.
Now, I’m all for the effort. I think it’s great advertising. I also think any organization that communicates its CSR demonstrates great strategy. In fact, I truly believe the positives of the effort outweigh the negatives.
Nonetheless, I want to take this elsewhere, away from strategy; to merely zoom out the lense a little and conceptualize in what kind of societies we currently live in. And here are my top of mind observations:
1. The masses have moved from living as farmers to living as factory workers to living as franchise workers. The repetitiveness of it all is palpable and ominous at the same time. The only difference today from the farmer and factory worker is that it can be celebrated. To find work flipping burgers is something to be proud of.
2. There’s a strong postmodern element to advertising job vacancies. Morally speaking, the campaign is distasteful. It’s as though a certain group of people have been taken advantage of. It’s as though this is where aspirations end. Then again, postmodernists also note truth is in the eye of the beholder. McDs truth has the money to support it which means it is more relevant than yours.
3. Hyper-commercialization of public spaces to persuade consumers to purchase products is a phenomenon we have all come to terms with. However, this kind of advertising is making a ‘way of life’ statement. ‘We are hiring’ at McDs is saying something very subtle yet very powerful. It is saying McDs is here to stay. It has earned the right to celebrate its growth regardless of what it represents. Actually, because of what it represents. McDs is THE way, the right way, of living contemporary life.