McDonald’s Shamrock Shake ad mixes up Ireland with rest of the U.K.

McDonald’s attempted to get into the Irish spirit ahead of St. Patrick’s day, but instead, an advertisement for the Shamrock Shake completely missed the mark.

In an ad for the ice cream drink, McDonald’s accidentally mixed up Ireland with its U.K. counterparts. A now deleted 10-second ad showed a man wearing a Scottish tartan hat and playing faux-shake bagpipes. Plus, at the end of the video, the man is playing in front of the English Stonehenge monument.

The ad has received widespread criticism. Remember, though, all press is good press.

Twitter users were quick to point out the mistake, as @Langkard noted an alternative copy that would have worked:

 “The music is Scottish pipes & the scene is Stonehenge in England. Maybe try again with Irish Uilleann pipes & an Irish setting?  ☘”

Putting on my detective hat, part of me wonders if McDonald’s was trolling. I mean, there’s no way they actually thought all these non-Irish identifiers were Irish, right?

However, what would McDonald’s have to gain by trolling its audience? Funny as that might be, the ad seems like a genuine, lazy screwup. Otherwise, you’d think it wouldn’t have been deleted.

As a Canadian, the ad is funny. But, understandably, I could see how Irish people could get offended for being lumped in with the rest of the U.K. Not that there’s anything wrong with their neighbors, but their unique characteristics aren’t displayed here at all. Ireland has its own culture and identity. This ad does nothing with it.

For those salty about the fast food giants attitude, McDonald’s is doing the right thing with Shamrock Shake sales. They’re donating 25 cents from every purchase to the Ronald McDonald House Charities.

So, if you’re a scorned Irishman seeking a Shamrock Shake, at least know some proceeds will be going towards a good cause.


About Liam McGuire

Social +Staff writer for The Comeback & Awful Announcing.