McDonald’s brings to life their “I’m lovin’ it” tagline by bringing together classic archenemies.
Advertising can serve as a sampling program. In this case McDonald’s gives its target, the child within everyone, a sample of the experience of a visit or a bite. The experience is a bit of love, kept light and fun through the use of cartoon characters. Famous combatants, from the Joker and Batman, to Dorothy and the witch, to King Kong and the airplane, bond often over a McDonald’s product.
Viewers’ experience is not just made up of the physical characteristics of McDonald’s store, line, counterperson, and food. Viewers’ experience is also influenced by their expectation. Expectation has been demonstrated to improve the experience of yogurt, sliced turkey, nutrition bars, beer, and fast food.
Psychologists would say that the physical characteristics of experience influence perception through bottom-up mental processing. Expectations influence perception through top-down mental processing.
McDonald’s leads viewers to expect an experience that is not serious nutrition nor gourmet quality but rather is friendly and fun. The expectation improves the experience.