The charm of McDonald’s every dad spot

As someone who still watches a lot of live TV—more so in the last six months—ad wear-out can come quickly for me.

But one ad I have not grown tired of, despite very heavy rotation, is McDonald’s recent spot for its mobile ordering app. The idea is super simple: a father asks who wants McDonald’s for dinner, and the chaos of a four-child family erupts. As the kids yell out what they want, the father taps each order into the app.

“The pandemic has… helped Canadians become more comfortable with using digital in their new ‘normal,’ so we wanted to use this ad as an opportunity to reinforce the simplicity of our mobile ordering platform in a funny and real world context,” said Dave Dunn, senior manager, guest engagement and experience at McDonald’s.

“McDonald’s always strives to embrace the realness of every day,” he said. “Our main goals are to highlight how seamless mobile ordering and pick-up is, and show how the app can bring some much-needed ease into the lives of Canadians.”

The charm comes from the chemistry of family and the father’s deadpan performance—he’s able to calmly and skilfully identify each individual request amid the din of overlapping orders. He’s unfazed by the chaos of his excited young family the way loving dads are, although the final shot reveals that the solitude of his car and his music is a happy place for him.

“We knew we wanted to cast a family but we weren’t looking for anything specific,” said Alexandre Gadoua, creative director at Cossette. “As soon as we saw this family’s chemistry and dynamic, we knew they had something special. It can be hard to replicate this kind of energy in a 30-second ad spot, but they knocked it out of the park.”

David Brown