Mc Donald’s new campaign in China: super dad!

In this article, I will discuss the new campaign by McDonald’s China. I would say that TBWA Shanghai signed a not very creative campaign but an effective one. I believe this campaign perfectly fits the new values ​​rising in China: the desire for success, the child king, and the struggle for life.


This campaign follows the awarded campaign “Manly Man Beef”

McDonald in partnership with TBWA \ Shanghai launched its new campaign in China to promote the Big Mac and other products.

The campaign “Dad” follows the award-winning campaign “Manly Man Beef” (beef for real men), based on the theme of masculinity and the ideal of the macho man.

The campaign “Manly Man Beef” 2012 “celebrated” with irony Machism through all kinds of men: the shy guy, friends, perverts, and so on. Let’s have a look at this former campaign:

The archetype of the successful Chinese father

In this new campaign, a young boy is asked to describe what should be the ultimate hero for him. The kid decides what he sees as the obvious choice: his father.  So cute 😉 This new campaign by McDonald thus explores the father-son relationship in China in a funny and engaging TV Spot.

Brian Swords, CEO of TBWA \ Shanghai said: “It is always difficult to make a proposal after an awarded campaign. But we are very proud of this work. This is a true story, told with a natural charm. “

Just have a look at the various TV spots (English subtitles).

Big Mac (the 30s):

German sausages (15s): food China

Mashed potatoes (15s):

McFlurry (15s):


A very corporate campaign able to capture the zeitgeist:

Advertising by McDonald’s has always been very good at seizing changes in the way of life of people.


It is particularly interesting to compare the communication in China with the communication of McDonald’s in France. We realize that commercials made by Mc Donald China are alike McDonald’s commercials made in France during the 80s with values ​​rather masculine: the desire to be successful, and traditional family values ​​(Mc Donald as a rite of passage between father and son. McDonald’s in China assumes its initial Texan values ​​(masculinity, sense of the family and struggle for life). Conversely in France especially after what can be called the Bové case (an ecologist who destroyed Mcdonald’s shops) Mc Donald changed its red logo for a green one (considered less aggressive and more eco-friendly). Furthermore, the values promoted by Mc Donald’s in France are rather feminine. McDonald’s France does not want its consumers to dream about an idealistic life, but rather to accept themselves as they truly are. The McDonald’s campaign “Come as You Are”  is a case study of “Dove for real beauty” which took as models everyday life women with their flaws. Unlike in China McDonald’s is not a relay of the struggle for life but a peaceful place, where we are invited to release the pressure in a communion of good feelings: environmentalism, gay-friendly attitude, tolerance to all differences, and openness. I will let you review the TV spots made by Mc Donald France to compare them with Chinese communication:

Advertising in China

1) The “nice liars”:


2) The bohemian rich family:

3) The father and his gay son


Conclusion: McDonald’s commercials are always true laboratories for someone who wants to understand the main sociological trends. The two communications (French and Chinese) are very good as they perfectly suit their different audiences. The Chinese consumer society is following the same path as the French one did 20 years ago. When do you think we will see Mc Donald campaigns in China advocating harmonious development (Chinese equivalent for sustainable growth) and “comrades”? Any idea?



Marketing to China


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