We often talk, with books and movies, about requiring a "willing suspension of disbelief." Without it, the story fails and we are left floundering.
With advertising, I suppose one could say there's something similar. Or at least a requirement that we are "willing to go along with the ridiculous logic of the ad world." (grin) Having said that, though, an ad can fail when the ad breaks its own logic, especially at the end. It leaves a bad taste in the mouth, a betrayal. As far as the ad agency is concerned, my thoughts always drift to "what were you thinking?" Even ad logic has to have its own rules.
This isn't so much a rant against a TV ad, as a nag. This ad annoyed me when it first came out -- and lately it's been recycled and shown again. A lot. I'm not sure if the corporation is being cheap or devoting itself to laying off more people on Madison Avenue by not buying new ads. It's not as if the corporation can't afford it.
The McDonald's Dollar Menu
In this commercial, this Guy goes around trying to find what he can buy with a single one dollar bill. Of course, in suitable ad world logic we aren't going to worry about silly little things like sales taxes (where applicable), because we're dealing with one lonely sacred dollar bill -- and not change in the pocket or under the sofa cushions.
Of course, Guy's attempts to spend his dollar are fruitless. At the travel agency, the agent gives him a little stick-on palm tree gratis -- "it's yours." The taxicab driver merely tells Guy to "get out." However, at your local neighborhood friendly McDonald's, he is told that a dollar can buy one of several great and satisfying tastes, such as a McDouble double cheeseburger, or a chicken sandwich or small fries or small drink. That's all fine.
But... we end seeing Guy enjoying a whole McDonald's meal. Possibly the McDouble sandwich and fries and drink. Wait a cotton picking second here! That would be three dollars spent (plus sales taxes where applicable), not one dollar.
And that annoys me. Because if we were spending three dollars, we probably still couldn't get anywhere with the travel agent, but you might get somewhere in some city in a cab. And there'd be a choice of three dollar meals and Happy Meals, etc. to choose from.
But not one dollar.
Not The End Of The World
Sorry if you hoping for a great scandal driven rant here, but like I said -- this one nags at me. So I'm nagging back. Doesn't make me really feel any better, but the next time the commercial comes on I'll be able to say "Ri-iiight" or "Up yours" and maybe I will feel a little snug.
Or maybe he traded in that valuable free stick-on palm tree. You think it's worth two dollars?