In the late 70’s, I came in from the woods around our house around lunchtime and, not seeing anything for lunch, decided to cut up an onion, heat it in an iron skillet, then put it between two slices of bread. My Mom came into the kitchen, saw what I was doing, and started crying; apparently her father, the grandfather I never knew, used to make that exact same oddball sandwich…
I say this because it’s remarkable how we humans find connections with each other. Which is why I don’t see the ‘controversy’ around this European McDonald’s ad that Adweek described as “tactless” in an article this week.
There’s been the predictable hue and cry across social media where it’s been called “terrible”, “exploitative”, and “insensitive”. And that’s a damned shame. This sweet spot is well acted, perhaps a bit slow-paced, but nicely cast and very human. Clearly, since he doesn’t remember him at all, the teenaged boy’s Dad must have died at least twelve years ago. He’s not ‘grieving’, he’s searching for a connection, something to hold onto. And at least to this one-time onion-sandwich maker, that feels totally believable.
Maybe today’s mostly digital connections have made us less comfortable with powerful feelings like love as opposed to the fast and intense emotional pornography of outrage. Or the cool distance of irony (here’s a pulled ad for you, Moms). That’s too bad.
But that said, I still won’t apologize for not liking that Kendall Jenner Pepsi ad.