Read our new manifesto

Now available on-demand

Get inspired. Find solutions. Harness the power of digital marketing.

Featuring Speakers from

Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo
Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo
Agencies 4 Growth Festival Logo

1980: McDonald's illustrates the power of storytelling

Marketing Moment suggested by Oliver Fuselier, managing partner for live action, Tool of North America

McDonald's Ad 1980

In the 80s, McDonald’s launched two commercials that featured a young man with Down’s syndrome and another with an elderly couple. When I watched them for the rst time, I became keenly aware of just how powerful storytelling can be and how advertising has the ability to make a real difference in people’s lives.

McDonald’s was one of the rst major brands to use this type of brand messaging, and it did so admirably. Neither subject was made to look like victims as they are often portrayed. Instead, through these spots, we were made to feel a greater sense of compassion and understanding.

These commercials demonstrate the importance of putting people before products. They’re early examples that demonstrate how brands can use the power of storytelling to launch cultural dialogues around subjects that people might not have been comfortable talking about. It’s about tapping into raw human emotion to tell great stories. For me personally, these spots were the brand equivalent of a Maya Angelou moment. As she famously said: “When you learn, teach, when you get, give.”

See the full 120 Marketing Moments in the dedicated online section and find out how to purchase the exclusive book.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis