Table of Contents
Good old fast food ads. From the dawn of advertising, they’ve been holding a special place in the marketing lore. Often bold, bizarre, and bombastic. Sometimes over-the-top and offensive. Always amusing to look at. Here’s what 2023 has given us in terms of fast food advertising.
1. bigger-er – Subway
Why: one of the most surprising hits in 2023 comes from Subway Australia. Who thought that a simple photo of a burger and a sandwich can be so effective? The dynamics here is created by zooming in on a “talking” meal. The conversation is hilarious. In a span of just 15 seconds, a bigger sandwich asks a smaller burger if it’s “lost” and suggests help in finding its parents. The burger tells the sandwich in a thick Aussie accent that it is a “fully-grown burger” and doesn’t need any assistance. We don’t ask for more, really. It’s perfect like this.
2. Fancy a McDonald’s? – McDonald’s
Why: in the world of aggressive advertising, this McDonald’s creation feels very light-hearted and breezy. The story is quite straightforward. The whole office craves a McDonald’s. The grand escape starts with one worker and then the wave engulfs everyone in the building. All of it while raising eyebrows to the classic 80s “Oh Yeah” tune by Swiss electronic wizards Yello.
The commercial is cozily old-school and immediately gets you into the Oh Yeah mood. And it’s guaranteed that you will raise your eyebrows at some point too.
3. Cardi B & Offset Date – McDonald’s
Why: it’s great to see mega-rich celebrities pretending they are humans just like us. The 2023 Super Bowl entry from McDonald’s is precisely about that. The execution is flawless, though. That’s why it’s among the best fast food ads this year.
The plot? Cardi B and Offset (to those who don’t know, they are famous rappers and a power couple) go on a “dream date”. Cardi is wearing a fancy dress and Offset invites her from the luxurious car. The date in question is, in fact, not as deluxe as it might have seemed. They go to McDonald’s and the food is their new trademark meal.
4. Whopper Whopper Whopper Whopper – Burger King
Why: here’s the fast food advertising history that is being made. 2023 has seen Burger King produce one of the most memorable and catchy jingles of recent years. You may have already heard it, the song is “Whopper Whopper Whopper Whopper” and it starts with, you guessed it, “Whopper Whopper Whopper Whopper” and goes on. The American fast food behemoth didn’t disclose the name of the singer, it remains a mystery to this very day. Many suggested that it was the actor Sam Richardson, but the man himself crashed all the rumors on Twitter.
Burger King has managed to do the unthinkable. They went viral, they made an ultimate earworm, and they became a part of pop culture. The beat here is an homage to the classic “Have It Your Way” Burger King song from the distant 1974. Both songs rock. Here’s the full version of “Whopper Whopper Whopper Whopper” to save you time searching.
5. Own your McSpicy Face – McDonald’s
Why: how to better promote a new spicy burger? Through the face of course. The original idea is why this commercial is on our list of the best fast food ads in 2023. If you like your fast food meals hot, you won’t be able to forget the “McSpicy Face” and are guaranteed to remember this while eating at the chain restaurant next time. Don’t hide it, just own it. As simple as that.
6. From Memes To Dreams – Popeyes
Why: talk about reading the room, Popeyes did it perfectly. Their “From Memes to Dreams” ad features that kid from a 9-year-old Vine and Twitter meme with a child at Popeyes giving a side-eye to a stranger filming him. Here’s the original if you don’t remember. Now that kid is all grown-up, drives Tesla, and loves puppies. But guess what’s never changing? His love for Popeyes of course. This is a beautiful example of meta-advertising and a brand that understands the internet very well.
7. KindNest – Tim Horton’s
Why: Canada’s legendary fast food chain did something different for its advertising campaign this year. The KindNest clip is not about their food, it’s about the book “A Nest in the North” about the “core Canadian value of kindness towards one another”. A touching story of a lonely goose that desperately looking for belonging and friends is a tear-jerking animation masterpiece. The campaign is done in partnership with UN Refugees Agency so it just hits harder than any other fast food ad.