15 Surprising Foreign McDonald's Ads You Won't See In The U.S.

Obama McDonald's Israel‘President Obama’ makes a cameo in McDonald’s Israeli ad.


President Obama lookalike starred in one of McDonald’s latest ads — and it wasn’t for an American audience.The Israeli commercial, in which Obama says “God bless Israel” after forcing a bunch of teens to cancel their Saturday night plans reopen the fast food joint, is just one of many strange McDonald’s ads that you won’t see in the U.S.

While the chain’s American marketing campaigns aren’t known for being particularly adventurous, McDonald’s foreign commercials regularly take risks — both good and bad.

Japan’s “sexy” Ronald McDonald’s ad will turn your stomach, but a brutally honest British ad recruiting staff  — which refers to work at the burger chain as “slave labour” — will bring a tear to your eye.

We’ve collected the most buzz-worthy foreign McDonald’s ads that you will never see in the United States.

Israel: President Obama ruins a bunch of teens' night

But he makes up for it with the 'God bless Israel' line ...

Agency: Yehoshua/TBWA, Tel Aviv

But Israel's McDonald's ran the exact same ad with a George W. Bush impersonator five years ago.

Only Bush says 'Lucky you were open' instead.

Japan: Ronald McDonald as fetish object

If, by remote chance, you don't think this ad is totally wrong ...

Then you should check out the version below, in which she wears some sort of McDonald's-themed lingerie.

Japan made an ad with the complete opposite effect ...

This ad of screaming children flipping out over a SpongeBob Squarepants talking straw will make you never wat to go to McDonald's again.

Saudi Arabia: Goldfish burger

It's a lovely piece of art direction but rather unappetizing ... unless you live in a desert kingdom where fresh, clean water is in short supply.

Agency: Leo Burnett, Jeddah

China: Angry Birds fend off pigs

This cross-promotion turned the golden arches into catapults to keep the pigs away from the fries.

The Philippines: McDonald's v. The Catholic Church

McDonald's withdrew this ad, made for the Philippines, after it was criticised by that country's Catholic Church. In English, the girl asks, 'Can I be your girlfriend?' The boy replies: 'I don't want to. I'm not ready. Girlfriends are demanding. They want this, they want that.' It turns out all she wants is French fries, and the boy nearly gets to hold her hand. Aww!

Unfortunately for McDonald's the Catholic Church condemned the ad, arguing it 'could pave the way for the very young to be lax and carefree.'

Agency: Leo Burnett Manila

Egypt: A man pushes his girlfriend out of her chair when she tries to share his fries

A sweet ad goes south really quickly.

France: The 2010 gay-themed ad McDonald's won't run elsewhere

McDonald's COO Don Thompson told the Chicago Tribune that the ad wouldn't air in the U.S. because it wasn't the cultural norm, but 'Interestingly enough, there have been no negatives coming out of France.'

(Three years later, France has legalized gay marriage.)

Agency: BETC Euro RSCG

Ireland: An intimate moment gets interrupted

In this bizarre spot, a man's wife turns from beautiful temptress to must ach bleaching nag.

Switzerland: Stopping traffic

Agency: TBWA Switzerland

Germany: Bashing Burger King

This ad is unusual because it directly criticises Burger King and even shows the rival chain's brand.

Agency: DDB Tribal Group Berlin, HEYE & Partner München.

South Africa: Bribing your kids

Everyone knows that the purpose of a Happy Meal is to bribe children into behaving better, but the company would never admit that in the U.S. In South Africa, the pitch to parents is more overt.

Agency: DDB South Africa

Sweden: Just don't have kids

This incredibly creepy ad shows a couple's children using a type of telekinesis to convince their parents to take them to McDonald's. The voices are mildly terrifying.

This is probably the most radical commercial the company has ever made: an eight-minute epic in which a young unemployed woman must face down the scorn of her friends and family in order to hold down a job flipping burgers. The ad addresses virtually every criticism anyone has ever made of the company -- the low pay, its environmental record, lukewarm food, even the obesity crisis -- within the format of a kitchen-sink drama. You'll be choking back the tears by the final scene in which the heroine's mum is finally forced to admit she respects her daughter's honest toil.

McDonald's isn't the only brand known to shock.

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