Countries all over the world have their own weird commercials. In the United States alone, car commercials have become bizarre modern art pieces, and millennials will no doubt remember the "Berries and Cream" Starburst song still stuck in their heads. It's a little unfair to say that any one place has truly weird commercials, but for many in the United States, it's Japan that has some of the weirdest commercials out there.
In all honesty, Japan has had some unique ones that are typically marked by fast-talking, mascots, and a hint of sensory overload. For a good laugh, you can check out Japanese Fanta commercials or the Long Long Man series of ads for Sakeru Gummy candies, both of which are on YouTube.
But among the many Japanese commercials that people find odd, the internet is shockingly divided over this latest Japanese ad for McDonald's. Check out people's reactions.
A Japanese McDonald's ad sparks divisive reactions.
On Sept. 20, 2023, the official McDonald's Japan Twitter account posted a new ad for the popular chain. The short 17-clip shows an animated family bonding with each other over a meal of Chicken McNuggets and fries. The whole thing is backed by a relaxing and rhythmic soundtrack that gives off big "lofi hip hop" energy.
The ad is simple enough, but as of this writing, it has already been viewed by Twitter users over 66 million times and counting. Yet despite its innocent appearance and soothing aesthetic, people have had some divisive reactions over this new campaign.
Most are fans of the ad, finding the image of a happy family wholesome and even adorable. One person tweeted, "we need more of these cute animated commercials worldwide." Another suggested that the United States should make a similar advertisement to air over here.
On the other side, folks have injected more political humor into their reactions to the ad.
One person joked, "I am not immune to pro-family propaganda" in regards to their positive reaction to the commercial.
On another slightly more serious note, folks have accused the commercial of being an overly political statement suggesting that Japanese people start having families.
Commentary like that is shockingly common when it comes to Japan's political struggles. The country has long been known for its declining birthrate over the years. As of 2023, Japan hit a record low in its birth rate, according to a report by Associated Press.
As such, much of Japanese media considered to be political propaganda includes depictions of Japanese characters having families and raising children.
In regards to the latest Japanese ad for McDonald's, many in the West have even responded to the commercial with jokes about former Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe, who passed away back in July of 2022. While in office, Abe was a vocal proponent of government programs and policies that encouraged Japanese citizens to start families.
For many, Japan's animated McDonald's ad is an innocent depiction of a family eating fast food together. But while there's no malicious intent behind folks who see otherwise, the ad's potential for political messaging has not gone unnoticed.