In Mad Men, Don Draper couldn’t help selling things by getting consumers all misty eyed. That was then, and people are still getting weepy now. Recently, two commercials have been dead set on ruining whatever entertainment I am enjoying. McDonald’s “Dad/Concierge service” commercial and Hallmark’s “Moms-are-the-best-you-already-knew-that-but-we-are-going-to-make-you-cry-as-we-remind-you” commercial. Both spots are sentimental for capitalistic reasons, but which pulls at your heartstrings the most? Which makes you reach for the Ben & Jerry’s the quickest? Which wins the battle of the most sentimental?
McDonald’s Quarter Pounder TV Spot, “Wedding Night”
-McDonald’s plays on the truth that no one gets to eat during his or her wedding night. Anytime spent not eating is time spent on greeting your guest, dancing on the dance floor and other wedding activities.
-The song “Lean on Me” is a nice addition.
-The strength is that the Dad doesn’t have to do any big presentation, just a simple card that is clearly not in his handwriting; placed in the limo he probably paid for.
– The commercial shows thoughtful people doing thoughtful things.
-Honestly, no one wants to associate quarter pounder with his or her wedding night. But with this ad, McDonald’s makes the connection work.
-There is a very short window for when any McDonald’s food is actually edible. I hope the dad took that into consideration.
– I’m also hoping the dad was present for the entire wedding and not just a creepy sending off with surprise food at the end of the night.
Hallmark’s TV Spot, “No Ordinary Mom”
– Hallmark is the LeBron James of sentimental commercials. (Similarly, Johnson & Johnson is the Steph Curry.)
– The extended version of this commercial show how Moms are “ride or die” with us, even when we don’t deserve it.
-That card at the end is fabulous. Did you see those artisan crafted paper flowers?
-There is no way that those artisan crafted paper flowers fit in that envelope.
-What would the postage on that sucker be? $5?
-Half of that commercial is spent deciding if the mother and daughter look believably similar as they age. Hallmark was just assuming we would buy that mess of brunette women that they cast.
-Also, why do you have to give the mom the card on the porch? Can you not wait five minutes? You probably spent twenty minutes trying to fit it in that normal sized envelope.
Both commercials are successful. One shows that if you love someone, you will clog their arteries with fatty goodness. The other shows that if you love someone, you will give them a card that they can store and keep forever. In the end, the McDonald’s commercial has the least expected ending. Therefore, Big Mac Daddy is the winner, but only by thinnest margins. (Possibly as thin as the envelope that the artisan mother’s day card doesn’t fit in.)