Blade Grades: McDonald’s Hipster Hamburglar

Posted on Tuesday, May 12th, 2015 by

After a years long hiatus from the advertising plan, McDonald’s is bringing back the Hamburglar. But not in the cute animated form that you remember him. Instead the fast food giant is bringing back a live action version of the burger thief for the 2015 audience.

So far we’ve seen an early preview TV spot as well as a set of 3 character photos showing us an actor in the new Hamburglar costume. And to give you a sense of our feelings towards this new again campaign, we’ve brought in Brian, Chris, and Keith from the Blade Studio.

Blade Studio Thoughts

Brian

You know what we haven’t seen this new Hamburglar do? Burgle some hams. Seriously, how am I supposed to judge him before I’ve seen how well he hamburgles? In any case, he certainly looks like he belongs more in his own Ocean’s Eleven-style heist flick than he does hanging out with Mayor McCheese. The promo image of him shushing the viewer while holding a hamburger is easily one of the creepier things I’ve seen in recent memory, but let’s be honest: the Hamburglar has always looked really creepy. The old Hamburglar at least looked like he ate McDonald’s on the regular; this guy, not so much. Also, this seems marketed more towards adults than kids, so perhaps I’m supposed to identify with this new, edgier beef thief and his suburban lifestyle? In any case, the raw appeal of the Hamburglar has always been watching him try and steal a burger, which is not present in these ads. If McDonald’s is smart, we could see some epic 30-second chase sequences in the future.

Grade: B- with option to improve if we see some epic hamburgling.

Chris

I’d love to be contrarian and say I don’t dig it (like pretty much ALL of Twitter)… but I do, I do like it. The thing about the Hamburglar is that he’s a timeless character – The mask, the striped outfit, hat, red gloves and burglar tie are synonymous with that character. You could literally make him do anything and it would be relevant because he’s ingrained in western fast food culture. McDonald’s is smart to bring him back in their time of need.

Grade: B+

Keith

Ever since Super Size Me came out, McDonald’s has understandably seemed to have been going through an identity crisis. I think much of its advertising has suffered because of this. With this new campaign, however, the world-famous fast food chain may have some success in bringing back a sense of fun to the brand.

The Hamburglar TV spots look great, are well-edited, have a dash of intrigue, and are mildly amusing. They seem like they will appeal to the right demographic. And although to me, Hamburglar’s outfit looks like a last-minute Halloween gag costume, I don’t think that’s a bad thing. In fact, perhaps that’s why it works – it’s funny.

Grade: B

———

In the end McDonald’s will have to make the call as to whether or not this new Hipster Hamburglar provides a boost in sales, a real sense of nostalgia, or just a waste of marketing and advertising dollars that could have been better spent reviving the cartoon Hamburglar of old.

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Featuring news and opinions on the latest rebrands, logos, ads and more from the designers in the Blade Studio.