It’s scary to think this McDonald’s commercial was about 20 years ago, where has all the time gone?!? Larry Bird had just retired (1991-1992 season due to back problems) when these were filmed and released, while MJ was still going strong… so why not have one of the greatest rivalries in the NBA go at it head to head once more. McDonald’s definitely took full advantage of it, and why wouldn’t they if they have the money to do so, their a business and they want they worlds most famous athletes and superstars eating their food. This was a success when you talk about good marketing. Two basketball legends having a jump shot contest for a delicious Big Mac… yea, that’s “nothing but net!”
And successful marketing like this makes their job much easier when they run out of new creative ideas down the road. All they had to do was let a decade or two pass and pretty much copy the same idea but with an updated touch to make it more current. Not sure what I’m talking about? How about 2-3 years ago in 2010 when McDonald’s came out with a LeBron James vs Dwight Howard commercial similar to the Bird vs MJ. Everything was pretty much the same but the only difference was that they changed the challenge rules, instead of taking jump shots they could dunk.
What do you think, was this second commercial as much of a success, better or worse? Personally I don’t think so. Now it might have worked for McDonald’s since anyone under 20 years old might not know the Bird and MJ commercial, this was completely new to them. On the other hand, the second I saw it I thought of the original commercial and automatically thought, they copied it with dunks. Now looking at this through all the fog and smoke, you might not see anything wrong with this. But when you turn the fan on and open the window, you begin to see a more clear picture. It’s like the NBA and Hollywood. Or life in general.
They went from being completely original and creative to being repetitive and predictable. Whats the problem with this. Well, the original commercial series used two real legends that had already proven themselves to be among the greatest ever. Although both MJ and Bird can both dunk (yes Larry Bird can dunk, white man CAN jump hah), the commercial producers and directors decided to use the more technical skill… a jump shot. These days it’s all about being flashy, going overboard and completely out-doing your haters and having swag. So, the updated version is kind of cheesy, showing LJ and Howard doing all these crazy dunks with what looks like some crazy CGI editing. I think using dunks would have been fine if they actually used real dunks, but this wasn’t cool.
But the biggest problem was the ending with LeBron asking Howard, “Who’s he?”… umm if you play in the NBA today, you better know who Larry Bird is. I don’t say this simply because I’m from Massachusetts and clearly a fan of the Boston Celtics, but he’s a legend. I’d understand this ending if this commercial came out in another 20 years but it’s too soon for all that nonsense. But to give McDonald’s credit, I do like that they added Bird at the end. Eating a free Big Mac and watching Howard and LJ go at it head to head would be a pretty good day hah. But then the other issue that can almost be said about both commercials is the fact that McDonald’s is far from a healthy meal that professional athletes would be eating while competing… which might go to explain them using two former star players shooting, and two current players doing fake dunks in CGI… in other words, they probably got some free Big Mac’s and Double Cheese Burger meals along with a ridiculous amount of money, ate before filming, and clearly couldn’t move after so McDonald’s had to get creative both times hahh.
Either way, in terms of a business 101 and a throwback post, I’d say these McDonald’s commercials were pretty successful… after all, I am writing about it on here! I kid I kid, but seriously, is it almost lunch yet, I’m hungry~