McDonald’s Japan wanted to advertise its Yoru Mac (translated as Night Mac), which is what they call their special menu for evenings. So what did they do? Anime ads, of course.
McDonald’s Japan has been putting out a series of them, starting on September 20. They’re all 21 seconds long, all have the same music, and were all illustrated by an artist known as Urachan or Uraura Ura. They show family and friends hanging out and eating McDonald’s together. Sometimes there are some monsters there, too, but it’s never scary. And the videos come with some little nice notes, like “A message from adults: Cherish these times” and “A nothing-special happy time.”
Like in America, McDonald’s is a major chain in Japan, and the company there likes to use anime from time to time. For instance, One Piece, SPY x FAMILY, and Demon Slayer have all been involved with McDonald’s Japan. Another big deal was when Fist of the North Star artist Tetsuo Hara was tapped by McDonald’s Japan to draw designs for its Samurai Mac burger. And there was a McDonald’s Japan ad that had Sadao Maou from The Devil Is a Part-Timer!, as a joke from the character working at MgRonald’s as a part-timer. Because we all know what MgRonald’s really means.
While McDonald’s in America might have Happy Meal toys involving otaku interests like Hello Kitty or Pokémon, that pales in comparison to what all McDonald’s Japan has offered over the years. It seems the anime ad shorts for McDonald’s are done for now, but odds are McDonald’s Japan will have some sort of otaku advertising in the near future.
What do you think of these anime ads? With anime and manga getting more mainstream over the years, would you like to see more otaku-related stuff at McDonald’s in America?
Danica Davidson is the author of the bestselling Manga Art for Beginners with artist Melanie Westin, plus its sequel, Manga Art for Everyone, and the first-of-its-kind manga chalk book Chalk Art Manga, both illustrated by professional Japanese mangaka Rena Saiya. Check out her other comics and books at www.danicadavidson.com.