3 August 2011

Subliminal Cultural Advertising by McDonalds

OK, I have been meaning to post this for a while now but I couldn't find the appropriate sources in order to make my point! Now that I have found the sources it appears I am not the only one who has noticed what I am suggesting here. Lets start with this and take a listen to the new McDonalds television advert to promote their Mango Pineapple product. Not sure if this ad is just for Canada or if it is in any other countries but I would be interested to know if this is shown anywhere else in the world right now so please leave a comment. Now lets have a listen to this advert:-

The imagery is not that important for my point to be made here, but the question I have is does the soundtrack sound familiar to you at all? Perhaps not! If it doesn't not to worry, this means that generally McDonalds were not trying to target you in this particular marketing campaign. Now lets have a listen to this song:-

This song is by Martin Solveig & Dragonette entitled 'Hello' releases early to mid 2011 depending on where in the world you are. It is interesting to note here that the vocals used are from the electro pop band Dragonette who are from Canada. Again, leave a comment if this advert is seen in other countries please because if this is targeted just for the Canadian market then the use of a Canadian band vocals is even more cunning on behalf of McDonalds.

At first I thought I was going mad and maybe my djing ears were making a jump here, but at 01.00mins into the song, just after the lyric 'hello' is used, is it me or does the McDonalds advert and the Solveig tune have some very apparent similarities? I ask the question if when you first heard the McDonalds advert above and didn't notice any similarities, can you hear them now? The reason you may not have recognized any similarities first time round was because McDonalds aren't trying to target you in this advert, instead they are trying to target in my opinion a teenager perhaps 13 or 14 years old all the way up to someone around the age of late 30's maybe early 40's depending on the persons lifestyle and interests. These people probably listen to the major radio stations to and from work in their car that utilizes a mixture of general chat and popular music. Maybe a majority of these people also like to go out of a weekend to dance clubs drinking cocktails, tall fruity mixers, bottled beer and coolers! [Read my post on bottled beer here] This target audience probably is a Tim Hortons drinker rather than a Starbucks drinker, have an understanding of global environmental issues and probably for that reason doesn't drive a truck but opts for a smaller saloon car, occasionally may use public transport. These are generalizations of course and it doesn't mean that you will fit into all of these catagories.

This is what I would consider subliminal cultural advertising, it is also no mistake that the McDonalds advert uses the words 'say hello' as the first spoken words in this advert that directly invokes a cultural response to the Solveig tune again.

When you ask a person does advertising work? The usual response is no, when asked a little further as to why they think advertising doesn't work the usual reply is because when they see an advert on television it doesn't make them immediately go out and buy that product or service etc. But alas, not all advertising is telling you to go out and buy a product, some do of course but in the case of the larger corporate companies, coca cola, pepsi, budweiser or McDonalds in this case tend to use a different approach. These companies use association methods and the example I give here with the Solveig song is just one. If you like that song, what it stands for, perhaps it recalls a fond memory out in a club somewhere, patriotism, love whatever it is McDonalds want you to see their product in the same way. Of course this can also work in a negative way, but the choice of song is a careful consideration these companies make. After all this song was hardly out of the top 20 most sold list in many countries across the world. Take a look at what Wikipedia says about it here.

Advertising works on many levels and it is naive of us to say it doesn't work just because we don't go out and buy the product, association is one of the biggest weapons advertising use on us, if we associate their products with something that naturally doesn't exist with that product then it has succeeded. There are many examples of this and maybe I may post a few more blogs about this in the future, but for now I ask the simple question again. Do these songs sound strangely similar?

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