McDonald's targets gay consumers, "Come as you are" ad goes viral

Wed. June 2, 2010 12:00 AM by News Staff

Oakbrook, IL - A gay-friendly TV advertisement from Oakbrook-based McDonald's, which has aired only in France, has gone viral online.

The 45-second spot titled "Come as you are," and shows a young gay man eating in a McDonald's with his father, who doesn't know his son is gay.

The teen is seen talking on the phone with an unseen male love interest from his school as his father orders from a McDonald's cashier. The teen hangs up when his father approaches. Seemingly unaware of his son's sexuality, the father jokes "too bad your class is all boys, you could get all the girls."

The son smiles at the camera, and the ad ends with the tagline, "Venez comme vous etes" which translates to "Come as you are."

By Wednesday afternoon, a week after being posted to YouTube, the ad has received more than 600,000 views.

"We wanted to show society the way it is today, without judging: there's obviously no problem with homosexuality in France today," Nathalie Legarlantezec, a spokeswoman for McDonald's, told French media.

It's the first time the fast food giant has targeted the LGBT community with advertising.

Gay rights advocates have praised the ad's inclusive message of tolerance.