We’ve all seen the video/mind trick where viewers count the number of times people pass a basketball around, while–unbeknownst to the viewers, because their attention is so occupied by counting basketball passes–a gorilla walks slowly across the screen. This new campaign from McDonald’s in the U.K. is kind of like that, except without the gorilla, the basketballs, or the counting.
“McDonald’s Mind Games” is a minute-long web spot that suggests that the sight of a giant Big Mac, printed on canvas, is so disorienting to a person who sees it that they lose the ability to focus on very basic details–like what, precisely, the person who asked them to take a photo of himself with his girlfriend looks like. The spot, shot documentary-style, features a young couple standing in a courtyard, as the man asks a passerby to take a photo. As the photographer prepares to do so, people carrying a giant, framed portrait of McDonald’s iconic hamburger walk between them. The original couple and the people carrying the portrait swap places, and suddenly the photographer is taking pictures of different people.
The spot is intended to display just how tantalizingly distracting the sight of a delicious burger is to people, to the point that they just lose their ability to focus on what people actually look like. That may be the case, but we’d also submit a counter-argument that perhaps the British are just so conflict-averse that they would rather not say anything about the fact that it’s not the same person who handed them the camera for fear of looking rude. Either way, you can take this video as evidence of who you should not trust to get your camera back to you, if you let them hold it.