Why We Need to Reverse-Pimp Our Products Like McDonalds

by Jennifer Beever

McDonalds Online AdMcDonald’s Canada released an online video ad that showed the truth about how they market their products. B2B marketers should sit up and take note of why it was successful, and what it means for business-to-business marketing.

Many years ago when I lived in San Francisco, one of my friends was a food photographer. I learned that a lot goes into photographing food – so much so that you would definitely NOT want to eat the food in the photography shoot. McDonald’s Canada capitalized on food industry behind-the-scenes secrets by creating a video of how they “pimp” burgers in photo shoots. They created an ad about it – a reality advertisement, if you will.

The ad has been written about by ad industry pundits because it was primarily created for online use – a new tactic that many marketers are taking advantage of. (Read the blog post by AllThingdigital.com’s Peter Kafka, Here’s the McDonald’s Ad All the Web Guys Think Is Genius.) To date this McDonald’s video, Behind the scenes at a McDonald’s photo shoot, has had 8.5 million views.

Here’s why the McDonald’s ad is significant for B2B marketers.

People want the real story. They want to know what you do behind the scenes. They want transparency – no more smoke and mirrors, especially if there is some controversy about your industry.

I think McDonald’s behind-the-scenes “reality” ad (yes, I know it was all staged, just like the “reality shows”) was brilliant! (View the ad below.) In an industry that gets a bad rap for having processed food full of fat and salt, the ad invites consumers to take a peek behind the curtain to see what really goes on. The ad tells “the truth” – the burger you see in an ad does not look the same as the one you buy in the store. We all knew this was true, but now the restaurant is publicizing this truth, in an industry in which outsider exposés have hurt restaurant reputations.

B2B marketers, what’s your story? Can you turn it into an online reality ad? Is it about how your company’s founders left their industry to do things differently? Is it because your leadership believes in its people? In innovation? Whatever your story is, find a creative way to tell it online. Maybe you’ll get millions of views like McDonald’s Canada.


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