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Top 10 Best McDonald's Commercials

VO: Rebecca Brayton
Written by Nick Spake We’re lovin’ it! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best McDonald’s Commercials. For this list, we’re taking a look at the greatest American TV ads for McDonald’s. If you’re looking for something on the stranger side, be sure to check out our other list of the Top 10 Weirdest McDonald’s Commercials. Have an idea you want to see made into a WatchMojo video? Check out our suggest page at http://WatchMojo.comsuggest and submit your idea.
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Written by Nick Spake

We’re lovin’ it! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’re counting down our picks for the Top 10 Best McDonald’s Commercials.

For this list, we’re taking a look at the greatest American TV ads for McDonald’s. If you’re looking for something on the stranger side, be sure to check out our other list of the Top 10 Weirdest McDonald’s Commercials.

#10: Minions at McDonald’s

The Minions have arguably become some of the most marketable characters of the 21st century. So it shouldn’t come as a surprise that McDonald’s has gotten in on the Minion mayhem, featuring these mischief-makers in several humorous commercials. An especially fun ad follows the yellow miscreants as they chow down on a meal at Mickey-D’s. Hijinks naturally ensue as one Minion starts blowing milk bubbles. This commercial ultimately reminds us that it’s not only okay to play with your food at McDonald’s, it’s actually encouraged. Happy Meals and Minions… they go together like fries and a milkshake!

#9: LeBron James vs. Dwight Howard

In 1993, McDonald’s released an epic Michael Jordan versus Larry Bird commercial, but more on that later. For now, all you need to know is that marketers have been using that ad as a gold standard ever since. Released almost two decades later, this modern remake comes pretty close. The torch is passed to LeBron James and Dwight Howard, who, in a setup similar to the original, try to top each other’s trick shots. While both play a good game, neither one comes out victorious. Why? Because Larry Bird has already claimed the meal for himself, cleverly bringing things full circle.

#8: New McDLT

While he’s best known for his television role on “Seinfeld,” Jason Alexander actually rose to stardom on the Broadway stage. In this 1985 commercial for the McDLT, Alexander showed off his singing and dancing gifts, not to mention a relatively full head of hair. Alexander is beyond ecstatic about McDonald’s latest product, which keeps the hot side hot and the cool side cool. We’ve never seen somebody get so excited about a sandwich… well, except for maybe George Costanza. The McDLT might’ve been discontinued, but this commercial continues to delight even decades later.

#7: Little Sister

80’s commercials in general were notorious for being corny. And while this McDonald’s ad is certainly no exception, it’s also undeniably sweet. The commercial chronicles the relationship between a little sister and her older brother. We follow them from the little sister’s toddler days through her late teenage years, with McDonald’s never failing to bring the siblings together. Of course, the ad comes complete with a sentimental song that would’ve fit perfectly in sappy moment from an 80’s sitcom. Cheese factor aside, anybody with a close sibling is bound to get the feels watching this commercial, reminding us that it’s high time we got together with them to split some fries.

#6: Fishing

McDonald’s commercials are usually very bright and optimistic, but this one takes some surprisingly dark turns. Of course... that’s largely what makes it so hilarious. The ad opens with a wife dropping off her husband so he can go fishing. The two clearly aren’t getting along and can’t wait to get away from each other. With a bag of McDonald’s by his side, the husband suddenly finds himself face-to-face with a sea monster. Rather than eating the human in its midst, the creature chows down on some fast food. The husband decides to invite his wife the next time he goes fishing, but has her hold the bag. Like we said… dark, but funny.

#5: Hamburger University

The Hamburglar, aka Hamilton B. Urglar, is always hatching plans to steal McDonald’s hamburgers. In this commercial, he attempts to pull off a heist at Hamburger University. Professor Ronald McDonald is completely oblivious as the Hamburglar snatches the patties up. Fortunately, he catches the thief in the nick of time and sends him to detention. The ad is cute, inventive, and funny, but it does raise a couple of questions. For starters, why is there a university for hamburgers? Also, are all McDonald’s hamburgers intelligent beings? If so, could this have been the inspiration for “Sausage Party?”

#4: I’m Lovin’ It

“I’m Lovin’ It” is arguably the most popular campaign McDonald’s has ever produced. The slogan is actually derived from McDonald’s German-based agency, Heye & Partners. Jürgen Knauss, the agency’s Chief Executive, described McDonald’s as “one of the simplest pleasures of daily life,” and that’s the perfect way to describe this commercial, which depicts people having a good time partaking in everyday activities, large and small. The imagery is pretty straightforward, but that’s exactly why this ad works so well. It makes you appreciate life, especially... comfort food. What’s more, the commercial features vocals by Justin Timberlake, who recorded a single in 2003 entitled, “I’m Lovin’ It,” in addition to the well known jingle.

#3: Two All-Beef Patties

Today, the Big Mac is McDonald’s flagship menu item. Introduced in 1967, the hamburger would eventually inspire the “Two All-Beef Patties” slogan, which lists off all the essential ingredients that make up a Big Mac. This catchy jingle appeared in numerous commercials over the years, but the best variation aired in the mid-80s. It opens with a female choir singing the infectious tune. A male choir then chimes in, giving the ad an extra layer of atmosphere. Never before has a fast food jingle sounded more angelic. Likewise, the Big Mac has never looked tastier, with the two all-beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, and onions, on a sesame seed bun - just as promised.

#2: You Deserve a Break Today

Advertising legend Keith Reinhard developed the “You Deserve a Break Today” slogan in the 1970s. This inspired a jingle by Kenny Karen, resulting in one of McDonald’s most iconic commercials ever. The ad centers on several employees as they give a McDonald’s location a good scrub down. Their toe-tapping production number overwhelms the audience with good cheer, as if all negativity has been washed away. Ray Kroc, the founder of the McDonald’s Corporation, was a stickler for cleanliness. His desire for a clean restaurant really shines through in this advertisement, resulting in a welcoming, comforting environment where the whole family can take a much-needed break.

Before we get to our top pick, here are a few honorable mentions:
- Nobody Can Do It Like McDonald’s Can
- Runaway Girl

#1: The Showdown

While the showdown between LeBron and Dwight was fun, nothing can quite top the original classic. Airing during Super Bowl XXVII, this commercial involves a game of H-O-R-S-E between Michael Jordan and Larry Bird. Only one can walk away with the Big Mac, but these two appear equally matched. Michael and Larry continue to raise the stakes with each shot. In the end, they decide to shoot hoops from the top of a building, literally taking their game to new heights. This ad proved so popular that it inspired a follow-up with even crazier trick shots and Charles Barkley. Although their game doesn’t have a clear victor, this commercial is a true winner.
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