Secret Weapon CD on Deutsch McDonald’s Campaign: ‘Flattering’ but ‘Annoying’

By Patrick Coffee 

Anyone notice that the recent Taco Bell “Ronald McDonald” spot bears a very slight resemblance to this 2002 Secret Weapon ad for Jack in the Box?

Secret Weapon founder/creative director Richard Sittig did–and he told Felix Gilette of Bloomberg Businessweek all about it today.

You know you want some key quotes after the jump.


Of the Errol Morris-helmed Deutsch campaign, Sittig says:

“Creative people get territorial about ideas…we get a little touchy when we see something that we’ve done, being done by somebody else.”

Obviously the spots aren’t identical, concepts are cyclical, et cetera. But (again from Sittig):

“It’s fast food. It’s exactly the same idea.”

While Deutsch didn’t comment for the BW article or mention Jack in the Box in its making-of blog post, something tells us they may have anticipated this reaction, which already inspired an AdWeek write up two weeks ago.

Sittig says, “I think sometimes national players feel like they can pick on us”, and copywriter Rob Goldenberg goes even further:

“Shame on them for not doing their due diligence.”

Was that really the issue, though?

For what it’s worth, the new campaign seems to be working: a recent YouGov survey tells us that TB is beating McD’s in the consumer perception battle over breakfast.

Now revisit this other retro spot for Subway and talk amongst yourselves about creative politics.

One more quick note: “absurd” remains the word when it comes to Secret Weapon’s work for the client in question.