Watching telly last night, we were intrigued to see a familiar sight on our screens: a  rain sodden campsite!

It was the advert break. We were therefore intrigued to know what was being promoted and sold to us.

Surely, it could not be an advert for the normal big players in the outdoor market. If so, blue skies and big smiles would be more appropriate.

The cameras panned in on  three people huddled in their tent. They looked pretty cold and miserable.

A car then pulls up and a man jumps out and makes a dash for the tent. He is greeted by hopeful eyes and warm smiles by those sitting in the tent.

What could this be advertising, we thought.

“You won’t like it” piped up our son who had seen the advert earlier.

He was right. We did not.

The man entering the tent is carrying burgers. The advert is for Mcdonalds.

As part of their 40 years in the UK campaign the ubiquitous burger chain are showing how Mcdonalds has become such an integral part of modern life.   This particular advert shows how Mcdonalds can ‘save the day’ and bring hope, warmth and comfort to what would otherwise be pretty miserable or desperate circumstances.

Fair enough. We have nothing against fast food or indeed Mcdonalds.

We’ve all had those fairly miserable nights in tents in bad conditions.  But it’s the idea  that spirits will be lifted by munching on a Mcdonalds burger which makes us feel uneasy.

For us, camping is about getting away from it all, leaving the material world behind for a few nights and enjoying a simpler, less complex experience.

Whether they like it or not Mcdonalds symbolises the material, corporate  world that we all need, but try to escape from when we go camping.  Seeing Mcdonalds expropriate camping to use it in their marketing is therefore pretty depressing, even though it’s a clever advert.

Of course many campers may very well like the idea of  having a Big Mac on site.

For us though we’d prefer give this a miss.

Camping is now incredibly popular.  This is because it’s great fun. It also serves as a antidote to the stresses and strains of everyday life. It’s therefore a bit sad that Mcdonalds – are trying to  tap into the camping ‘vibe’ to sell more burgers.

In the modern hectic world we all live in fast food works because people live busy, over-stretched lives. They don’t have the time to feed themselves. Quick and convenient eating is necessary. This is not the case when you are camping. Life really slows down. There’s plenty of time to do and enjoy everything.

It’s therefore a bit sad to think that the biggest and best known fast food chain can improve the camping experience.  If this is the case then you might as well not bother. Why put up the tent in the first place. Instead, embrace the convenience culture and book into a Travelodge.

See the advert here:


What not to eat when camping in the great outdoors
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