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2 Ways McDonald’s Is Going After the Gays: Cute, and Sexually Suggestive

Aww, cute! McDonald’s released this television spot in France where a young fella chats with his schoolmate lover while waiting for his dad to grab their burgers. “We wanted to show society the way it is today, without judging: there’s obviously no problem with homosexuality in France today,” says Nathalie Legarlantezec, the company’s brand director in France. Meanwhile, in America …

the advertising is less subtle.

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  • Aaron

    Donc on va tous déménager en France :)

  • Charles

    That’s in part because MacDonald’s strategy and positioning is very different in the US and in France.

    In France, they’re trying to change the image from Lower-class greasy fast food outlets to Healthy alternative for fast food aimed at everyone from any class. So far, they’ve been moderately successful.

  • OnCloud9

    @Charles: wait, you meant to tell me it is NOT lower-class greasy food? Who knew!

  • ossurworld

    “Je suis une mensonge qui dit toujours la verite.”
    Ronald MacDonald

  • 7

    D’aww, that’s sweet.

    However, that does raise a few questions. Are closeted gay teens routinely kicked out of fast food establishments? How can you “come as you are” if you’re hiding who you are? And why isn’t the boy having lunch with his boyfriend AND his dad? That would be much sweeter and positive, IMO.

    Still, beats ‘minty vomit cup’ by a kilometer or two.

  • dvlaries

    I think it’s utterly charming. Once again, Europe shames us with its matter-of-fact advancement and intelligence. Here, the FRC would be shitting its pants.

  • Kyle

    How come, if there’s no problem with homosexuality in France, they won’t allow gay marriage?

  • Diya

    “Once again, Europe shames us with its matter-of-fact advancement and intelligence.”

    Riiiiiiiight, b/c France is such a beacon of racial tolerance

    I wouldn’t say there’s NO problem with homosexuality in France as the McD’s lady puts it. I lived there for a while and saw a lot of homophobia from the French. Just depends where you are. The South, for example, is different from Paris.

  • edgyguy1426

    @7: After I saw the ad I thought wow I wish the U.S. were that progressive, but then I after processing it I agree with you, the boy ISN’T coming as he is if he isn’t open with his dad. Come As You Are really make no sense in the context of this ad.
    Maybe he should have been in a mixed group of friends maybe on a double date with his boyfriend and a straight couple from school.

  • Jimmi

    McDonald’s–Ugh. :P The smell is revolting.

  • Random Rashes

    I’ve had a few loads and they’re good.

  • Tessie Tura

    @7: McDonald’s tends to run ads that sort of serialize; perhaps that day will come. This is definitely a start – certainly more positive than the Snickers ad that did show in the States.

  • That Bitch Téa Delgado

    I like the French McDonald’s ad and hope Tessie is right: this could be the beginning of a serialized ads featuring this father and son–next ad, son gets courage to come out to dad at a McDonald’s (coincidentally, I came out to my sister at a McDonald’s!); next, dad meets son’s boyfriend at a McDonald’s, etc.

  • jeffree

    Despite the scary food, “Vive Mc Do” for a kind of ad that won’t show in the US for a couple decades. I hope the spots do progress 2 where the guy comes out to the dad. Who knows, maybe Papa has a boyfriend too !!

    @Aaron: Beh, je préférais m’y installer! I’d rather settle down there than just move there, but I agree with you. I’d find a tiny appartment near St Raphaël, a few hours by train from Italy, but close enough to weekend in la Métropole! Un beau rêve, quand-même! It’s a nice dream.

  • Dick

    Makes me want to order le Royalle avec frommage

  • Philip

    isn’t that the canadian mcdonald’s logo on the shrek ad?

  • zenflo

    My own, deeply personal investigative research has verified the popularity of the word “load” in gay porn. But I don’t perceive the billboard speaking to this notion.

    I just think the ad agency correctly surmised that most people’s reading and comprehension skills are too poor to decipher “ogreload” without the hyphen.

    And honestly, how many of Mickey D’s loyal customers could even define “ogre” if not for the Shrek image in the corner?

    God, their food is vile.

  • Hue-Man

    Keeping secrets from parents is a key part of youth necessary for children to become independent people – our parents would have been shocked to learn of some of our actions if they had known at the time! The French ad is cute, funny, and innocuous. If it’s the first part of a developing story, so much the better. Anything to relieve us from the boredom of unsexy automobile ads and ED drug ads.
    The Shrek ad is plain old ugly. I’m not sure who exactly would set foot in a McD based on that billboard.


    The next ad shows them sharing a “happy meal”… :-p

  • Mattrdesign

    that a CANADIAN MacDonald’s ad, see the little red thing in the middle of the golden arches? That is the canadian maple leaf, you know, the same on that is on their flag.

  • counterpoll

    Does anyone know if the French language ad might be —or has been — sent over to Canada e.g. Québec province?

    I googled the ad’s francophone slogan to see if the spot will pass into french-speaking portions of Belgium, but no real results on this theme.
    So far, it seems the ad will only run in France.

  • eagledancer

    for those of us with only a high-school exposure to French, could someone translate the ad? Thanks :)

  • eagledancer

    Whoops–sorry. I’m recovering from major eye surgery and have the laptop set at 200% to see, which means I didn’t see the subtitles underneath when I first played the clip.

  • K. Smith

    I don’t get it.
    Is it just the “load” part that’s supposed to be suggestive, because if that’s it, then it’s not really. Ogre-load = Overload. Nothing “gay” about that.

  • hephaestion

    McDonalds’ food is delicious and perfectly fine. In moderation, of course. Though during the healthiest, most athletic & fat-free years of my life I ate 3 meals a day a McDonalds and I did just fine.

    This ad cries out for a sequel or two! And the gay kid is hot! Yay! Also the gay kid seems in control here… definitely not a victim. He just seems like a high schooler who has recently figured out that he’s gay and hasn’t told his parents just yet.

  • Ogre Magi

    Shrek isn’t gay, but that one chef ogre in Shrek 4 seemed pretty fey. In fact he reminded me of Lafayette Reynolds from True Blood.

  • averie

    if you dont know what that means it says im a lie that always tells the truth

  • Matthew Rowley

    You’re right about the Shrek ad not being American, Mattrdesign. The giveaway for me wasn’t the tiny red maple leaf (damn my old eyes), but the enormous Aero logo. Nestle Aero is sold in Canada as well as the UK, Ireland, and a few other countries, but is not widely known in the US.

  • olen

    So when is a closeted fag progress? The only redemptive quality about this ad might be a homophobe having to actually think, grasp the fact that the kid’s a ‘mo, understand his predicament, and possibly empathize.

  • Steph

    Actually, the translation is not quite right…
    towards the end, the dad says: “Too bad they are only boys in your class…. you would get lucky” AND NOT you could get all the girls….!!!
    The word girl is actually not pronouced in that sentence…
    So it is a positive ad, since what the dad is almost saying is “too bad you’re not gay, you would get them all”…
    very bad translation…

  • Michael

    Yes, a refreshingly progressive ad. When I was the kids age, I was relegated to stand in line for the burgers, whilst Dad relaxed, in the car. (Loved the food, but wouldn’t be caught dead actually dining in, at McDonald’s) Times have changed.

  • Toby

    Are you [email protected]#$ing kidding me?

    You can’t play that on Logo? REALLY?

    Then FUCK YOU ALL!!!!!!!!

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