Welcome back to RSVP’s This Week in Advertising feature! This regular series includes the news tidbits from the advertising world that interested, excited, or amused us this week. We’re glad you’ve joined us – let’s see what happened This Week in Advertising:
- You may remember that we highlighted McDonald’s response to recent trials and tribulations in this very feature just last month, but in case you’ve forgotten: Ronald & Co. launched an ad campaign that touted their food’s dedication to being absolutely terrible for your health in response to the (frankly, legitimate) concerns consumers & experts alike have about eating french fries with 19 ingredients in them. In what seems to be a bewildering about-face, McDonald’s recently announced its plans to add kale to its menu via some to-be-announced item(s) in select markets this year. This development also seems to fly in the face of the chain’s promise to cut back on its sprawling menu offerings, and only serves to confirm what the rest of us have suspected for years & what The New York Times put into words earlier this week: McDonald’s is suffering a crisis of identity (is it too late for a mid-life crisis? After all, the brand is making its first appearance at the über-hip SXSW festival, where it will likely stick out like dads at a One Direction concert).
- Speaking of dads, remember how horrified you were when your parents found your diary? Remember the epic speech you made about privacy and how you’re “twelve years old now and can like boys and stuff!”? No? Just me? Well, anyway, Facebook wants to continue the creeping tradition parents everywhere started all those years ago, and will soon launch a feature called “Topic Data” that enables advertisers to see what users are saying about brands, products, and events on their personal pages. There is no word yet on whether it will also track mentions of how dreamy Seth in 4th period chem looks when he smiles.
- Even though parents can be, like, totally annoying and stuff, we absolutely love and appreciate them…granted, we may not realize it until we’re 20 and living in our own apartment for the first time ever and finally realizing how much work it is keeping ourselves fed, housed and clothed. It is in the spirit of parental appreciation that American Greetings unveiled their #worldstoughestjob ad last year, in which the company posted a fake ad & interviewed applicants for what sounded like indentured servitude, but actually turned out to be mothering. While American Greetings put the salary for being a mom at $0, British florist Interflora has released a “Mum Salary Calculator” that allows parents to put in the amount of time they spend acting as their child’s/children’s teacher, caregiver, chef, etc., and calculates what their salary should be, if parents were, you know, compensated in money instead of love. The calculator operates in pounds, but you can convert your salary to dollars here.
- Let’s end things on a feel-good note! Microsoft is famous for its support of charities & innovative thinkers, and launched the #CollectiveProject to highlight innovative thinkers whose ideas could make the world a better place. One #CollectiveProject student, Albert Manero, founded Limbitless, which focuses on creating bionic limbs for children in need. This week, Manero joined forces with Tony Stark himself (actor Robert Downey Jr.) to present a young boy with his very own Iron Man-esque bionic arm. Watch it here, and have a great weekend!