A Rhetorical Analysis Essay Project
of 2015 Super Bowl Commercials
By Shannon Foley
English 12 with Mr. Smith at CNHS
McDonalds: Pay with Lovin'
2015 Super Bowl Commercial
Mr. Smith's English 12 Essay Project
Rhetorical Analysis Essay
By Shannon Foley
"Call your parents and tell them you love them. " Is a statement that seems to be recurring in our media, from Oscar winner J.K. Simmons acceptance speech to the McDonald’s Super Bowl commercial; everyone knows how important family is. A McDonald’s commercial is the last place that you expect to make you feel emotional but, when you see a grown man in line at McDonalds calling his mom and telling her that he loves her it makes the viewer shead a tear and want to do the same. McDonald’s uses pathos in the most simple way, Pay with Lovin’. McDonalds uses free food to demonstrate love, such as a mom explaining her son’s best qualities, or by simply making an old man’s day by having him dance for his ice cream. The acts of love throughout the commercial make viewers feel like Mcdonalds is more compassionate towards their family and life. It’s simple McDonalds wants to become a fast food restaurant that appears to genuinely care about each customer's life and happiness.
The main point of this commercial is to show that McDonald's cares about families and customers well being. A company like McDonalds, is arguably one of the biggest companies in the United States and possibly the world, doesn't necessarily need to promote their food because most all people who even see the commercial know exactly what products McDonalds sells. Most people will pass at least one McDonalds in their day. The trade off ofmoney and a kind act directly shows the correlation that they want the viewers to see that McDonalds doesn’t just care about money, they want you to improve your life while eating at one of their restaurants by giving customers feelings of love and kindness.
This commercial deals with a very real issue in the world today, distraction. We live in a fast pace world where no one takes time to get off their phone to dance, or even use their phone to call their mom. McDonalds is the perfect company to have a “Pay with Loving'” because it’s a fast food restaurant. Their customers are most likely in a rush to get food so the fact that they have to slow down and do something they ordinarily wouldn’t. By bringing in people of all ages and ethnicities is draws a larger audience for the commercial. From a older man dancing for ice cream to a young man on the phone speaking in Spanish, they can reach a very broad audiance.
The way to get peoples attention is to offer them free stuff, and that draws you into the commercial. Instead of the cashier asking for a form of payment, he asks the customer if he has his phone. The man seems shocked, but he dials his mother’s phone number and talks to her as a form of payment. Another factor engaging the viewers is McDonalds announcing that through February fourteenth a day most people associate with love that McDonalds will randomly select people to pay with Lovin’. The idea that a person could possibly be chosen out of the 68 million others that go to McDonalds daily might be enough incentive to get a person to go and buy a meal, just to see. The whole idea is really smart marketing because humans always want to feel special and included.
The commercial argues that most people don’t spend enough time being present in life, and therefore McDonald’s steps in and makes you take a moment to be involved in something rewarding. Everyone can relate to having a hard time with managing life and all the stress that comes with it. The argument the commercial makes is extremely valid. No one takes the time to have a family hug in the middle of a fast food restaurant. Maybe if they did there would be less tension in families and in the world. One of the customers asks if he can just pay instead of dancing or calling his mom. The fact that someone would rather just pay then receive free food by just doing a simple task shows how needed something like “Pay with Lovin’” is needed.
The whole commercial is designed to make you feel a range of different emotions. From happiness to guilt to sadness. The people involved really create an emotional experience for viewers. Showing a mother explaining that she loves how compassionate her son is lets all who are watching experience an intimate moment and might make them want to share an intimate moment with someone they love. Having a young hipster man unexpectedly call his mom up and just tell her that he loves her bring feelings of guilt because most people don’t express feelings enough to those who are most important. It’s quite possible that the people portrayed in this commercial are just actors, but that doesn’t even matter because they make you feel like you need to stop and take a moment to simply be in the moment. Also the fact that you might be one of the chosen customers to participate in “Pay with Loving’” ties into the emotional part of the commercial because being chosen out of millions brings an aspect of how badly people want to feel connected in their communities and in the world.
The best idea for a commercial McDonalds ever had was to create this environment where good things happen to people and they feel good about themselves. All people just want to be apart of something bigger than themselves, they want to be included. “Pay with Lovin’’ show that people should be doing nice fun things for others when it’s least expected.