McDonald’s Taiwan ‘coming out’ ad shows brave work does exist in Asia, says Wayne Arnold

Leo Burnett's coming out ad for McDonald's

Leo Burnett’s coming out ad for McDonald’s Taiwan

Leo Burnett’s recent ad for McDonald’s in Taiwan, in which a boy reveals his homosexuality to his father at a McCafé, is just one example that quashes the myth that there is no bravery in Asian advertising, the CEO of MullenLowe Profero has said.

In a post on LinkedIn, Wayne Arnold, the digital agency’s Singapore-based global chief executive, wrote that one of the first things he was told when he moved to Singapore three years ago was that Asian marketers are among the world’s most risk-averse, and selling great creative work could be difficult.

“There is an element of truth to this. However, the Asian market, like elsewhere in the world, does produce great work,” he said, using the McDonald’s Taiwan work, which prompted protests from religious groups, as an example.

Not only does the ad tackle a subject that is taboo in many Asian markets, but it’s brave in promoting acceptance, Arnold wrote.

“What makes this work even more surprising is McDonalds aren’t widely recognised for their creativity in the advertising realm. If I am being honest I think the majority of their work is clipart advertising and misleading trying to making cheep food look like food porn. So it’s invigorating to see them take a chance and trust the power of their message.”



Arnold went on to suggest that brave work is “happening more and more often,” and the McDonald’s work is a “challenge” to other marketers to take more risks with their agencies, “in a region where risk-taking and bucking convention can reap huge rewards.”

He began the post by debunking other myths about Asian advertising that he was told when he first arrived in Singapore – that there is almost no creative talent in Asia, the Asian talent that’s available are great at copying but unoriginal, and clients will only buy creative ideas that are backed up by data.


Get the latest media and marketing industry news (and views) direct to your inbox.

Sign up to the free Mumbrella Asia newsletter now.



Sign up to our free daily update to get the latest in media and marketing