If Burger King can feature something as scary as a Chicken Whopper, why can’t McDonalds re- re-configure its own chicken into yet another curious shape? Well America, get ready to go nuts over Chicken Select Strips. McDonald’s believes that the “larger portion size and zesty sauces” of its new product “will appeal to adult diners.” And to ensure that these slices of processed poultry aren’t just for juniors, the golden arches licensed “Wannabe” from 20th century demographic busters the Spice Girls to drive home their point. The advertisement is straightforward in its meaning. As Mel B tells you what you want what you really really want, a multiethnic gang of fresh-faced young adults dip, crunch, and grin their way through an allegedly exciting package of the decidedly boring-looking chicken strips. This tomfoolery plays out on an orange and red cartoon set that suggests the menthol green candy land of Newport Cigarettes’ print ads, a place where large-mouthed singles horse around with the vigor and boundless energy unique to a smoker of menthols.
But let’s get back to the chicken, chicken.
It’s not surprising that the Spice Girls sold “Wannabe” to McDonald’s. After all, what’s one commodity to another? What is amusing are the numerous tie-ins between song and product that McDonald’s and ad agency DDB failed to consider. First of all, there’s the “zesty” nature of the sauce included with these new strips. Where’s the tie-in? During their heyday, the Spice Girls were certainly zesty. Why not feature Scary Spice in the ad, stomping about in KISS boots while freaking the Fry Guys? Secondly, McDonald’s has decided to give its adult diners four of these tasty new chicken items. Well, there are four remaining Spice Girls halfheartedly working on solo careers. Ring them up, mate! But remember, Easy V doesn’t come for free. She’s a real lady. Finally, there’s the matter of the spicy dust that gives these birds their bite. What better chicks to chat up spicy strips than four sassy British birds with a propensity for knicker kissing? Come on, DDB! Slam your body down and wind it all around!
Commercial is as commercial does. “Wannabe” will do its best to sell McDonald’s latest chicken vagary, and move on to the next product that really really wants it. But you’ve been warned. If you watch any television at all, be prepared to have Scary, Ginger, Baby, Posh, and Sporty periodically stuck in your gob for the next month or so.
A zigga zigga say ahhh.