- Children from Sakhumzi orphanage in Mfuleni, township east of Cape Town
- Shows children giving nursing home residents a McDonald’s dessert
- Millions of children are orphans in South Africa so it is a concerning issue
By JILL REILLY
PUBLISHED: 07:16 EST, 22 March 2013 | UPDATED: 07:59 EST, 22 March 2013
McDonald’s has come under fire for using children from a real orphanage in their new advert.
The television commercial features children from Sakhumzi orphanage, a children’s home in Mfuleni, a township 25km (15 miles) east of Cape Town.
With millions of children orphaned in South Africa, the fast-food chain has been accused of targeting their target audience by exploiting a concerning issue.
Firing line: McDonald’s is coming under fire for using children from a real orphanage in a new advert
The 60 second advert opens with a nurse waking the children up in the orphanage to get dressed.
The words ‘We took the Sakhumzi children’s home for a surprise treat’ are flashed up across the screen and the children are seen excitedly running towards a minibus.
The advert then cuts to a shot of the orphans smiling and clapping their hands as the bus draws up outside a McDonald’s.
Inside they are all then handed a McFlurry – the chain’s signature ice-cream dessert – and get back on to the bus.
They arrive at Huis De Kuilen Old-Age Home and hand the cartons over to the smiling residents, who give them a hug in return.
The advert, which is only being aired in South Africa, then shows the residents and the children sharing the dessert.
The advert then finishes on ‘Everyone needs a little happiness.’
With millions of children who are orphaned, the campaign is bound to touch viewers in South Africa.
The SA Institute of Race Relations said that by 2015 ‘there will be more than 5.5 million orphans. Some 32 per cent of these will be maternal, 56 per cent paternal, and 12 per cent double orphans.’
But the advert has attracted criticism – one user who watched the video said ‘Touching, but with the caveat that those children and elderly will go back to business as usual. My question is, where are you going to be tomorrow, McDonald’s?
But another user commented ‘Awesome, who cares… the kids and pensioners looked like they had fun!’
Delivery: They arrive at Huis De Kuilen Old-Age Home with the ice-cream dessert in their hands
Playing on the heartstrings: The advert then finishes with the words ‘Everyone needs a little happiness’ running across the screen
South African press agency DDB accompanied the video with the statement:
‘Based on the premise that everybody has got something to give, we set out to spread happiness with this live stunt commercial. No actors, just a real orphanage and old age home, and one take to get the moment.
The advert has clearly captured the imagination of the McDonald’s Creative Directors as it was awarded ‘Best of McDonald’s TVC for 2012/13.’