Well, that was quick.
The same week that Christian Bale announces he'll be stepping down as Batman after The Dark Knight Rises, it's already clear who will be stepping in to fill the bat signal-gap he's leaving behind: McDonald's.
A series of new McDonald's billboards, created in partnership with Leo Burnett Chicago, have been unveiled, but these aren't any billboards: They're giant boxes of fries with beacons of golden light illuminating the night sky, part of the regional "Best Fries on the Planet" campaign. Ad Week has a great gallery of images of these deep-fried wonders signaling that someone, somewhere, in this city deserves a better class of tuber.
The campaign seems to be part of a larger movement to assert the Oak Brook-headquartered McDonald's new "understated megalomania," which is a descriptor we just totally made up but still seems apt. Consider, for a moment, this commercial that has humans diving like lemmings into a fishing pond to retrieve a fry:
The fast-food chain also recently unveiled the McDonald's Channel, which is being tested first in LA to encourage customers to "stay a little longer," or in other words, sit around and eat their food, and then sit around more and eat some more food. From the LA Times:
In one of the most unusual twists in niche programming, the global fast-food chain is launching the McDonald's Channel, a digital network of exclusive original content targeted at dine-in customers. The programming will be customized to specific communities around the individual restaurants, and will include local news and entertainment features, such as spotlights on upcoming films, albums and TV shows.
Essentially, it's not too different from those TV channels you see in fancier cabs or elevators, only, unlike those, they aren't intended to keep its viewers around once they've reached their destination. Nevertheless, you've gotta hand it to McDonald's for at least trying new things, and aggressively at that. Especially when you consider where they started. For kicks, take a look at what's believed to be the chain's very first TV ad, introducing the world's "hamburger-eating-est" clown.