When you watch this short clip (Giannoli, 2014) what do you see? On the surface of the video, we see the interaction between a father and son in France. The boy looks longingly at his class photo and receive a phone call, exclaiming that he misses the one on the other line. The father returns with their meals and reminisces about his youth and the ease in which he seduce the ladies. He says the line “Too bad your class is all boys, you could get all the girls” and his son responds with a sly peaceful smile.
Its pretty easy to decipher the message, Mcdonald’s is trying to portray. A boy is missing his boyfriend, possibly after graduation, and is comfortably in the closet while his father assumes his sexual orientation to be straight and brags about his ability of seduction. Though this is not as certain, we can even imagine different scenarios like perhaps the mother is absent in their lives and a single father is doing his bring his son up, so the son is hiding his homosexuality for now and we can even go so far as to say perhaps, the boy is coming clean and coming out to his father in the restaurant, playing on the words of the title.
Directed by Xavier Giannoli, The commercial is part of the French Mcdonalds’ campaign named as “Venez comme vous êtes”, or in English, “Come as you are” invites their diners to eat in peace and in embrace of their unique individuality. It was a statement of the accepting nature of the Mcdonalds franchise, their establishment’s atmosphere of being a comfortable environment and the understanding of the diverse variety in their French customers.
A variety of reactions came to light to express the different responses to the viral advert. According to Campaign’s web article, (Banham, 2014) the man of poor journalism and controversial standards of news telling, Billy O’Reilly, known as Fox News anchor, compared the commercial to Mcdonalds encouraging terrorism by asking “Do you think they have an ad for Al Qaeda?”. ABC News (Gomstyn, 2014) has also wrote an article explaining some accusation of hypocrisy by LGBT advocates. Activist, Justin Nelson, the president and co-founder of the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce “They were looking to portray themselves as an advocate of the LGBT community or an ally … when it was completely counter to what their actions here in the U.S. were.”. Another voice asked how a ‘closeted boy’ can assist the LGBT community.
Banham, M. 2014. French gay McDonald’s ad causes controversy. [online] 07 June 2010. Available at: http://www.campaignlive.co.uk/news/1008289/french-gay-mcdonalds-ad-causes-controversy/ [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].
Giannoli, X. 2014. venez comme vous etes. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=SBuKuA9nHsw [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].
Gomstyn, A. 2014. Gay Group: Don’t Trust McDonald’s Commercial. [online] June 22, 2010. Available at: http://abcnews.go.com/Business/mcdonalds-commercial-france-prompts-charges-hypocrisy-us-gay/story?id=10975302 [Accessed: 14 Apr 2014].