McCain: We hope it's chips

One of the things that interests me most about TV advertising is how some 30-second spots don’t always convey the product. Sometimes the reliance on a marketing message can overshadow and often subvert the core product. In some cases this can happen to such a degree that the ad almost becomes a commercial for an entirely different product.

One such ad is the recently aired ‘It’s All Good’ lifestyle commercial for McCain oven chips. The ad depicts a series of emotive family life scenarios - focused on the concept of being proud and watching your family grow - all sound tracked beautifully by Supertramp’s 1977 jangley guitar hit ‘Give A Little Bit’. It’s a beautiful and evocative ad, very much in the style of  the John Lewis ‘Never Knowingly Undersold’ commercial from last Christmas. Similarly to those ads there is no mention of McCain until the final scene.

Now when I first saw the ad, I did what I normally do and attempt to pre-guess the brand. Bearing in mind the ad repeatedly refers to pictures in frames, and shows no less than three cameras on screen, I assumed it would be either Kodak or Canon, or some other photo based product. Never oven chips.

However, when the ad came on the following day I asked my kids (6 & 9) to guess what it was for. "McDonald’s!" shouted my 6-yr-old almost immediately.

He knew the ad meant ‘chips' straight away.

The question here is does the ad work? I get the dual concept of a) having more time to spend with your family as you’ve bunged McCain fries in the oven as opposed to slaving over your Jamie Oliver cookbook, and b) that McCain represents quality farm produce that will help your kids to grow, rather than just grow fat.

The trouble is that I’m left considering whether I should replace my old digital camera and my son now wants a McDonald’s.

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