McDonalds - Just Passing By Inspiration?

Something's been nagging me about the McDonald's ad for some time now. And it's something other than my prejudice that McDonalds should be using their advertising to feature the food they actually sell rather than trying to pretend and persuade us that their restaurants are all full with a marvellously diverse cross-section of customers drawn from Great British society.

The ad's very, very well written and David Morrissey beautifully delivers one of the best voiceovers I've heard in a long time.

It's the "Just passing by" turn of phrase that's been bothering me. I've heard it before somewhere. And I couldn't recall for the life of me where and when that might be.

And then I remembered. It's a song isn't it? Yes, it's a song. A song, not a poem.

But who the bloody hell sang it? Buried deep in my subconscious somewhere a voice said Rolf Harris. That's right, Rolf Bloody Harris.

Now, I'm sure many ad geeks would have already made this connection and been aware of this source of inspiration [or rip-off as the less generously minded among you would probably have it].

However, thanks to the joys of good old YouTube, I can share this with a wider audience and simultanoeusly put to bed something that's been bugging me ever since I saw the ad for the first time. There's also a cracking version of the song from PlayAway that's worth watching that has a very youthful, pre-Baldrick, Tony Robinson going bonkers.

Would have been a nice touch if the ladies of the harem of the court of King Caractacus were featured in the commercial just passing by. Maybe that would have made the ad a little too unbelievable.

Anyway, enjoy. Then go back and watch the McDonalds ad and see it in a very different light.


  1. Rolf Harris and Basil Brush performing together - that's like the perfect storm of light entertainment.

  2. Although I think it's rather clever to be inspired to take a song like that and create something new and memorable. One of the better Mickie D spots i've seen. Oh, and it's hard for them to concentrate on selling the food, because we all know it sucks. They have to sell the clown to the young, and the experience to the unwitting.

  3. Those videos have totally made my day. Brilliant.

  4. These are professionals who understand even subtle problems associated with your credit report and find the best solution to improve the same...

  5. Credit repair, I think I speak for all of us when I say "What the fuck?".

  6. It's a bot. They don't have feelings.

    Now on the matter at hand. It's obvious that you were right, and the inspiration came from the lovely harem of king Caractacus.

    But, and it's a big but, if I may, this, I think, is the first time when an ad hasn't been ruined after finding out it was ripped off. Mainly because there's a larger percent of "inspiration" than "thievery" in this ad. So in the end it doesn't really matter.

  7. Hello Eugen, I don't really think this is a 'rip off' at all. I quite like cosyness of the 'just passing by' reference. Bit of nostalgia there for people who remember.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.