It has only recently begun airing, so you may not be familiar with the fact that McDonald’s has resurrected the Hamburglar, a character we haven’t seen since 2002, as the fast-food chain’s latest Mascot hawking their new sirloin burger.
Now a trim, stubble-chinned Suburban Dad in an ill-fitting version of character’s previous costume, he’s confusingly straddling the line between creepy and sexy. The new marketing effort by Interpublic Group’s Golin is just OH SO WRONG. Thankfully a few talented folks in the advertising industry have responded with their own fan version – a spec spot that is a much more appropriate, hip and likeable re-introduction to the character.
First, the WRONG way.
Note: These were so disliked that the commercials cannot be found anywhere now.
Here’s how PR/ Marketing firm Golin has reintroduced the character to sell McDonald’s new Third Pound Sirloin Burger.
A compilation of some of the new McDonald’s Hamburglar spots (The Man In Stripes and The Bandit’s Back):
“We felt it was time to debut a new look for the Hamburglar after he’s been out of the public eye all these years,” Joel Yashinsky, McDonald’s vice president of U.S. marketing said in a statement first reported in Mashable. “He’s had some time to grow up a bit and has been busy raising a family in the suburbs and his look has evolved over time.”
McDonald’s continued to market the sirloin burgers with the new mascot via their twitter feed which showed several Hamburglar-related tweets and videos.
Now, The RIGHT way. Chapter 1: Paroled:
With a muscle car, some Radar Love and the best non-creepy contemporary version of Ronald McDonald I’ve yet seen, this non-airing “Fan” version begins with Chapter 1: Paroled in which the Grimace and Ronald pick up the Hamburglar upon his release from prison.
“…we felt it was our mission to set the OG Hamburglar free from the shackles of history and to let him go after the supposed “New Hamburgler” who we think is a bit of a sham. We accomplished this with the help of creatives across the country.”
CD/Writer Brett Landry says of the OG Hamburglar spec project:
“I believe that it’s a very good example of what can happen when creatives are allowed to do their job completely unabated. Agencies, strategy and clients hinder the creative process far too often. People don’t mind accepting a message from a brand as long as it’s entertaining. But brands far too often over-think the end product of their communication”
They even created a website for the fan-generated campaign hopes to make subsequent spots by crowd-sourcing ideas for future episodes. (Website is no longer up)
The 60-second spot “Chapter 1: Paroled”
Creative Directors: Brett Landry and Brian Engleman
Writer: Brett Landry
Directors: Chris Allen Williams and Matt West
Director of Photography: Max Fisher
Editor: Chris Allen Williams
Colorists: Matt West and David Muessig
VFX and Animation: Charles Bevan and Rick Plautz
Sound Design by Andrew Uvarov
Post Production: Mad Box
Produced with the help of Spang TV and Jordan Rodericks
If you’d like to get in touch with the OGHamburglar, just email OGHamburglar@gmail.com.