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How much does McDonald's spend on advertising? "Uh, lots."
January 22, 2011 8:45 AM   Subscribe

Behind the scenes of a McDonaldland commercial in the 1970s McDonaldland outtakes The fake McDonald's restaurant in City of Industry, CA used to film commercials
posted by evilcolonel (32 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite

 
Never ever ever do I want to see the words "RONALD UNCUT"pop up on my screen ever again. Not even a little bit.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 8:49 AM on January 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yay! This post makes me so happy!
posted by scrowdid at 8:52 AM on January 22, 2011


This is great!
posted by samsara at 8:58 AM on January 22, 2011


McDonalds also has the advertising budget to spam MeFi competently.
posted by clarknova at 9:23 AM on January 22, 2011 [2 favorites]


My nephew was producing a McD's commercial a few years ago. They were filming at a park, and, in the process, Ronald tripped over his shoes, fell, broke a leg.

The focus of the ambulance ride to the hospital was getting his clothes and makeup off, nobody wanted to be the one telling McDonalds that they were responsible for rolling Ronald into the ER...
posted by HuronBob at 9:34 AM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I must vehemently deny the charge that anybody paid me or fed me McRibs in exchange for the Mayor McCheese post. If I was being paid off to make posts on MetaFilter, I wouldn't be criticizing Apple so much.
posted by oneswellfoop at 9:34 AM on January 22, 2011


McDonalds also has the advertising budget to spam MeFi competently.

♪ ♬ Somebody neeeeeeeeds a haaaaappy meal! ♩♫
posted by mazola at 9:40 AM on January 22, 2011 [4 favorites]


The fake McDonalds set is fascinating.
posted by Uther Bentrazor at 9:54 AM on January 22, 2011


A friend of mine called after a McDonald's shoot as he was driving home asking "How many people are hungry at your house?" he had a trunk full of thawing burgermeat and special buns that we made a sudden kids party with. The kids in this house love that guy.
posted by dabitch at 10:09 AM on January 22, 2011


clarification: house meaning the building, a lot of kids live in this building, they're not all mine.
posted by dabitch at 10:10 AM on January 22, 2011


"they're not all mine"..

That's what I keep telling my wife...
posted by HuronBob at 10:16 AM on January 22, 2011 [5 favorites]


I know a "Ronald". They each have a region they work, and are required to keep total secrecy about their identities (I know his assistant, and out of respect for his job, never mention his name in connection with it). Appearances require an assistant - Ronald can't be seen driving a vehicle on the streets, nor getting a ticket, obviously, but at the same time, he can't be seen half-in and half-out of costume.

Believe it or not, to kids, he's REAL, and a Big Deal. Like Santa Claus. Who wants their hopeful, eyes-bright kid to see Santa putting on a fat suit over a tee-shirt?
posted by IAmBroom at 10:20 AM on January 22, 2011


Sid and Marty Krofft successfully sued McDonald's for stealing their "look and feel" from H.R. Pufnstuf. Who knew?

We do not believe that the ordinary reasonable person, let alone a child, viewing these works will even notice that Pufnstuf is wearing a cummerbund while Mayor McCheese is wearing a diplomat's sash."
posted by That's Numberwang! at 10:20 AM on January 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


posted by evilcolonel

Eponysterical?
posted by Faint of Butt at 10:31 AM on January 22, 2011


I know a "Ronald". They each have a region they work, and are required to keep total secrecy about their identities (I know his assistant, and out of respect for his job, never mention his name in connection with it).

It's a chronically self-hating Jamie Oliver, isn't it.
posted by Sticherbeast at 10:43 AM on January 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just wait til they start driving West...
posted by mannequito at 11:03 AM on January 22, 2011


1:24 = nightmare fuel.
posted by the other side at 11:45 AM on January 22, 2011


"Advertising costs included in operating expenses of Company operated restaurants primarily consist of contributions to advertising cooperatives and were (in millions): 2009–$650.8; 2008–$703.4; 2007–$718.3. Production costs for radio and television advertising are expensed when the commercials are initially aired. These production costs, primarily in the U.S., as well as other marketing-related expenses included in selling, general & administrative expenses were (in millions): 2009–$94.7; 2008–$79.2; 2007–$87.7. In addition, significant advertising costs are incurred by franchisees through contributions to advertising cooperatives in individual markets." McDonald's 2009 Annual Report (pdf)
posted by fourstar at 12:01 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


McDonalds also has the advertising budget to spam MeFi competently.

Probably not; those 70s McDonalds commercials rule so much that they put current commercials to shame.

A friend of mine called after a McDonald's shoot as he was driving home asking "How many people are hungry at your house?" he had a trunk full of thawing burgermeat and special buns that we made a sudden kids party with.

Oh, to be young and once more be so uncaring about what I eat.

Believe it or not, to kids, he's REAL, and a Big Deal. Like Santa Claus.

I vote not. Even as a kid I knew that this wasn't a real "thing" like Santa was. (And of Santa I was a little skeptical too. I was a boring little blighter.)
posted by JHarris at 12:24 PM on January 22, 2011


Nothing in that first link is as jaw-droppingly surreal as director Howard Morris's back-from-behind-the-ear combover. I hate to say anything bad about someone from Your Show of Shows...but seriously, Mayor McCheese has more natural-looking hair.

(BTW, if Sarah Palin does get the presidential nomination, I think she'll have to go with McCheese for Veep. He's the only politician who has less gravitas. Palin/McCheese 2012!)
posted by PlusDistance at 1:02 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and fourstar wins for getting that information in the thread. McDonalds burns more than half a billion dollars ever year on advertising! Of course that's probably worldwide figures, but still. It's definitely money that could be better used, from the customer's standpoint, by obtaining higher-quality meat.
posted by JHarris at 1:20 PM on January 22, 2011


Ha, the first one was directed by none other than Ernest T. Bass, (Howie Morris) the crazy hillbilly from the Andy Griffith show! AWESOME!
posted by snsranch at 2:06 PM on January 22, 2011


They talk in the first link about the idea of creating a whole world made of McDonald's food, with like French fry bushes and Filet-o-fish lagoons and milkshake volcanoes.

I'm sure it was just a coincidence that Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory had just come out in '71..
posted by hermitosis at 2:12 PM on January 22, 2011


Didn't McDonald's restyle Ronald McDonald in the 1980s to make him resemble Michael Jackson more?
posted by acb at 2:14 PM on January 22, 2011


JasonLiebig's always-amazing Flickr photostream has a treasure trove of McD's ephemera, including early McDonaldland materials and lots of long-forgotten products and mascots, all scanned at frighteningly high resolutions. Some highlights:

Lets Eat Out -- 1965 kids' book featuring a trip to McDonald's

Setmakers -- 1972 catalog promoting McDonaldLand buildouts to franchisees (featuring "evil" Grimace's actual grimace)

Smile Makers -- 1988 internal merchandise catalog, featuring loads of rugby shirts, crew flair, the McDonalds Golf Bag (for the franchisee who knows where his greens fees are coming from), the "classy rolling awareness" of a Camaro with the McD's logo subtly sprinkled on the bodywork, and assorted McDonalds-flavored street scenes rendered as collectable sculptures.

And misc promotions, failed products and lost characters: Phil A. O'Fish, Pineapple Pies, Onion Nuggets, Pocket Fajitas, Pizza/McPizza, the Grilled Steak Sandwich, and the Shamrock, Arctic Orange, Go Bananas, Mountain Raspberry and Bicentennial-themed Red White & Blue shakes.
posted by Lazlo at 2:16 PM on January 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


Maybe it's just me, but does that Howie Morris guy look like he could be the father of the Kick the Monster's Ass girl?
posted by symbioid at 2:24 PM on January 22, 2011


That first video starts with what could be a sound outtake from a very, very effective horror film: "Let the spirit of McDonald's be with us!" -- followed by what sounds like the suddenly choked scream of a grown man.
posted by Countess Elena at 2:25 PM on January 22, 2011


I read this thread earlier this afternoon and was fascinated by it and clicked every link and felt like I'd been both transported back to my childhood and pulled the veil off of it.

But I just called my boyfriend and said I was going to pick him up from work tonight and maybe we'd pick up dinner on the way home, and for some reason, I thought McDonald's sounded good. Which is almost never the case.

I've often mocked those who bitch and moan about the prevalence of advertising in American society, but I feel like somebody just walked over my grave.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 3:14 PM on January 22, 2011 [3 favorites]


I noticed this on RetroThing and spent a huge ton of time watching and reading old McDonald's stuff for the past day. I am still a huge fan of their marketing because it was more often than not brilliant and wonderful. I don't care if the food will kill me. The one time a month or so my family could afford to go there was spectacular, and part of that was me and my little sister playing in McDonaldLand. I wish there were still McDonaldLand Playlands for my kids to play on so I could watch the same magic happening, but corporations don't care anymore about a good experience, only selling crap. The current McDonald's Playlands are a bland series of tubes full of baby poop that nobody wants any part of. I do still like ChuckECheese because while they do sell you horrible crap, at least they still seem to care about making the whole deal fun for the kids (and maybe their parents).
posted by Clinging to the Wreckage at 3:25 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


Needs more insanity.
posted by orme at 4:29 PM on January 22, 2011


Let's let McDonald's give a good cover story during their training video for the all the hallucinations custodial workers have from the cleaning supplies.

Seeing McC
posted by chambers at 4:49 PM on January 22, 2011 [1 favorite]


I nominate Lazlo thread winner.
posted by JHarris at 11:06 PM on January 22, 2011


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