Ads created to run during the Oscars are built around a sweeping arc of big-upping Hollywood while finding a way to tie the product to the audience’s love of movies. The Oscars are, at least in part, about nostalgia and emotional connection to things from the past (witness Lady Gaga’s tribute to The Sound Of Music on last night’s telecast), and that’s one place where both movies and food have a lot in common. The score from Jaws and the smell of a Big Mac both trigger some particular kinds of memories.
In the McDonald’s ad from the Oscars, the brand unveils a series of simple, iconic elements in plain text, over “Clair De Lune” by Debussy, that make up some of the more famous films in history: “Big Apple + big ape + normal-sized lady,” or “shower + motel + mom,” spelling out famous films in descriptions so simple that even people who haven’t seen King Kong or Psycho can probably pick up. Then, to establish the Big Mac’s place in that world, they drop the elements of the company’s 1974 jingle for the burger: “two all-beef patties + special sauce + lettuce + cheese + pickles + onions + sesame seed bun.” It’s a bold move to place the ingredients for the Big Mac alongside “fava beans + chianti + people for dinner,” but we suppose even Hannibal Lecter likes to indulge in an iconic burger every once in a while.