It’s not as if McDonald’s is the pinnacle of great commercial art, or even that we’re encouraging you to visit the establishment. It’s just that every time we drop by, we find something noteworthy to bring to Elbowruminations. This time, it’s a job ad that never should have made it out of the archway and onto that backlit fluorescent sign.
It’s hard to count the number of things that have gone wrong with this poster, but it’ll help if we number them:
1. Senseless equations. Let’s remove the line breaks, and write this ad copy as the pure equation it’s trying to be. Apparently, “Flexible schedules = freedom + free uniforms = $$$$$ + 50% off meals = $$$$$ + working with your friends = priceless = the perfect job.” Contrary to the title at the top, this mathematical tomfoolery does not add up.
2. Stolen catchphrases. There are some things money can’t buy. For everything else, there’s borrowing slogans from Mastercard.
3. Chaotic layout. For a company that has demonstrated that it is quite capable of producing clean, easy-to-follow and easy-to-like design pieces, this ad is definitely not up to the task. Text seems to be splashed onto the page with little regard for placement or purpose. The photo in the top right is not very well integrated into the ad, and seems out of place as a result. The yellow border (which is not quite a square) makes the poster unnecessarily claustrophobic.
4. Inconsistent case usage: Good design is all about detail. If the phrase i’m lovin’ it appears in all lowercase (at the bottom), then the text that is playfully referring to that slogan, Addin’ it up (at the top), should follow the same format. The same problem occurs with “Your Employment Package,” which features this ad’s only occurrence of Title Case. This would have been fine if “Addin’ it up” had used a lowercase a, or capitalized the U.
This McDonald’s ad seems as if it were a quick, in-house, rush job, that didn’t receive the full attention of the creative team or the company’s design specialists. Judging by the new employment ads that have been appearing around town (cutesy personal notes to supposed Mickey D’s staff members, accompanied by the message “We take care of our employees”), it seems the McDonald’s brand strategists have finally taken the time to plan this campaign a little more carefully. We can only hope that this particular ad, spotted above a cashier’s heads in a Calgary area store several weeks ago, has since been replaced.