Last of the Summer Whine

I’ve been beaten to the punch by my local* paper but I have something to say about the latest advert from McDonalds.

“He’s Happy”, by Leo Burnett, is the latest advertisement for multinational burger dealer, McDonalds.

You can see the video here:

I don’t have a problem with McDonalds per se, not beyond the usual complaints a sane free thinker has with multinational corporations.

They are a respected local employer, I’ve known quite a few people pass through their back doors and onto greater things – soon disappointed with the way ordinary companies treat their staff.

Nor do I have a problem with filming in Huddersfield.  A good many TV programmes have been filmed in Huddersfield and its environs.  My other half was recently involved as an extra in a soon to be released horror film and who can forget such classics as Last of The Summer Wine (and the short lived prequel series First of the Summer Wine) or Wokenwell (which featured the greatest real ale pub in the world, The Sair Inn, and its landlord as the local pub/landlord).

Even I have dabbled in filming in Huddersfield as this footage of the annual Zombie Slouch can attest (That’s my as the zombie corporate at the start) …

The RouteBut this latest advert from Maccy Dees really takes the biscuit.

Forgetting the lead actor’s lack of a Huddersfuddlian accent and his obsession with singing in a style blander than Coldplay (afterall, I’m not the most ecxciting singer and have been accused of being a geordie before); the route he takes is absolutely wrong.

Not just wrong but genuinely cockamamie.

I’ve included a rough version of the route I believe the chap to have taken, it is in red on the small map to the right.

I have annotated keystages in Douchy McBurger-Singer’s journey as steps 1 through 7 and will explain my reasoning below.

There has obviosuly been an amount of airbrushing, sign changing and a large variety of props used but the key staging is Huddersfield through and through – even if the journey a little disjointed.

Step 1 – Setting Out

Heading outOur intrepid burgerphile sets out at the beginning of the advert from what I take to be the “Goods Inward” section of Tescos in Huddersfield.

He heads towards the viaduct with such delights as Gringos to the right of him.

He could save himself the hassle of a Big Mac, right now, by just heading staright to Gringos or one of the many other restaurants under the viaduct but obviously this man craves the addictive flavour of McDonalds’ finest.

So enraptured is he with his desire for cow’s flesh and gherkin, he forgets that McDonalds is actually in the other direction!

Step – 2 – Don’t H8 the Sk8r

Don't H8 the Sk8rOn the other side of the viaduct he can choose to visit the ubiquitous and over priced Pizza pundit, Dominos or one of Huddersfield’s finest CAMRA pubs, The Sportsman.

It is evident from the video that our hero crosses the road at this point.  probably more than once, as it is easier to cross the main road to The Sportsman and then a side street to carry on under another part of the viaduct.

Our fun loving vocalist now turns back on himself and is finally heading in the direction of McDonalds.

The video now shows our meek voiced protagonist almost run down by a skateboarder.

If you’ve ever walked that path, having any knowledge of boarding, you’ll appreciate that the boarder must have some sort of death wish.

The pathing under that lime-stained viaduct is not cut out for boarding.

Having survived the skater, Super-Size-Me-Dave now carries on passed the George Hotel (Birthplace of Rugby League) and crosses back over the road.

Step 3 – Turning Back

Turning BackAlmost at McDonalds he must be struck by some nightmare vision of arteries clogged with cholesterol and decided to turn back, away from the Golden Arches and towards a healthier world, full of salad and muesli.

He must turn down past Centros, another valid alternative for food, and then on past the market as the next time we see him he is coming up on Huddersfield’s greatest Taxi firm, Bob’s Taxis.

In fact, he’s probably popped into Wall of Sound before turning back; desperate for inspiration on improving his singing style.

Either way, he makes his way past the outdoor market, towards the christian coffee house that used to be a gay bar (and before that, the Dog and Gun) and up past Bob’s.

In the video, Bob’s is renamed “TJ’s Taxis” and appears to have expanded to include the entrance to Huddersfield’s seediest pornogrpahic cinema (truthfully, its only pornographic cinema but bear with me… narrative people, narrative) the Empire Cinema Club.

Weaselbits now has the longest sing-a-long a walk he has ever had to perform.

We next see him outside a laundrette – a laundrette in Fartown.

Step 4 – Fartown

LaundretteOnce home to the awesome Fartown Barracudas, Fartown is a fair distance out of Huddersfield.

In the recent national riots, certain residents of neighbouring Sheepridge were arrested on their trek through Fartown on their way to loot Huddersfield.

Marching through Birkby, into Fartown and then behind the laundrette, we see our Jolly Jack-Tar singing along as he passes the front of the laundrette and on his way back down Bradford Road and into Huddersfield.

Step 5 – The Saw

Age ConcernI’ve had to estimate our pilgrim’s route back into Huddersfield.

His point of entry could be anywhere from the back door to the Kingsgate carpark to the route round the KIngsgate and onto Zetland Street.

SawEither way, he is next seen on Cross Church Street crossing a zebra crossing which I am fairly sure doesn’t exist.

He picks up a paper from a news-vendor selling “The Daily News” rather than “The Huddersfield Examiner” from outside a newsagents that is actually Age Concern.

ZebraHe then crosses a fake zebra crossing towards a long standing hardware shop with a huge circular saw blade hanging above it’s window.  Oh, and the safety fencing could be fake also… i might be wrong but google maps backs me up.

At this point he could turn right and have a meal at Huddersfield’s greatest alternative venue, “The Parish”.

Step 6 – The Street Market

Instead, he appears to head to some sort of street market.

This too has obviously been faked/set-up and I have spent some time trying to identify the locale.

On my route, I mark this as being up past Coffee Evolution (another place he could stop for sustenance – they do a great Iced Latte), bar Vox (an awesome selection of beers) and Something Wicked (Hi Frodo) but it could be anywhere.

It has been suggested that it is Lockwood’s Yard but I am yet to check this out.

I’m yet to identify it, if you know where this is, please comment below or drop me a line as it has me stumped.

It is obviously busy, far busier than any Huddersfield yard or side street is normally, so McDonalds must have paid a lot for extras – my other half will be upset that the extra roles weren’t advertised throughthe normal channels.

Our happy-clapper now seems to be even more motivated, sensing an end to his journey.

Step 7 – The Final Destination

Almost ThereI envisage him rounding the corner and clamly approaching Huddersfield’s central McDonalds with a sense of yearning.

His smile to the lady, sat in the dingiest corner of McDonalds, is not aimed at her but merely an pavlovian reaction in anticipation of the salt and grease soon to wash down Sammy-Sing-a-long’s throat.

Being a cosmopolitan lady, she is enjoying a coffee or tea having finished a light repaste of McDonalds Deli Wrap or something like that.

We see him approach the McDonalds, despite the Nandos opposite and the Pizza Hut just beyond.

Fresh and inviting, the store does not seem to have its usual coagulation of teenagers hanging around outside; nor does it have local tramp “Fury” begging for cash to buy cheap booze at the nearby wetherpsoons.

YumFinally we see him take a seat at an upstairs table, unusually devoid of 14 year old hoodies, chavs and dealers.

It may seem that I have a jaded view of this particular McDonalds and I suppose I do to some degree.

Given the choice I will eat almost anywhere other than this venue, mainly due to it being clogged with ASBOs-Waiting-To-Happen.

I am pleased that this national advert has been filmed in Huddersfield though.

I love Huddersfield, for all its failings, and will always have a soft spot in my heart for it.

* I say “local” as if it actually is.  The Examiner does have offices in Huddersfield and even employs local journalists; but whenever you want to do something local, like look for or advertise a job you discover that the paper actually appears to run out of Merseyside.  Which is great if you want a job in Liverpool… or want to employ scousers.

12 thoughts on “Last of the Summer Whine

  1. An EXCELLENT post sir!!! The advert has irritated my ass thoroughly – specifically the paper stand that reads – ‘The Daily News’… Fuckers.

    • It’s Liverpudlian Taint to one side, I am proud of our local paper (despite its tabloid sensationalism).

      One of the last truly local papers as I understand it.

      Why McDonalds chose to ignore the local paper I do not know. If references to Huddersfield are good enough for The League of Gentlemen then they should be good enough for Ronald McDonald.

  2. Loving it, had to google it for a closer look as the glass front where Empire should be threw me as did TJ’s poor Bob’s they deserved a free advert for all the times they have got me home at ungodly hour in the morning!

    the sweet shop is fake and on king street, the zebra crossing is also fake, as are the railings, infact it’s where Flying Circus – or Sharkeys triples for singles was, the tramp airbrushed from under the arches is actually my neighbour (yes, the pair of them live up my road and have what could be a lovely home with a big garden), Coffee Evolution is Red so have they painstakingly coloured in all the wood?

    And well done on finding the laundrette, I don’t get out that side of town often, even if I have “homeless” neighbours.

    And it has been 8 months since I begrudgingly had a soft drink from this disgusting fat camp, and 10 years since I last nibbled on the processed yuckiness. I am so glad I am a reformed character.

    • Thanks for the comment R!

      I wholeheartedly agree. The very least that such a world-spanning corporation could have done is offer free side advertising to Huddersfield businesses. Bob’s is still my taxi of choice when I need one.

      I remember the place near the fake railings as Sharkeys but I think it’s closed altogether now.

      It does look like they have gone to the lengths of changing colours – probably digitally, after the fact.

      I’m hoping to do my own video, tracing the route the advert takes and pointing out the alternatives.

      • Book me in, I’ll quite happily join you on that one! Huddersfield complete with seedy (it’s not that bad really is it) cinema clubs, fake homeless people, ASBO’s waiting to happen in hoody’s. Also Huddersfield complete with amazing and beautiful architecture, Harold Wilson flanked by masonic Lions, brilliant open spaces and historical places of interest – right next door to the countryside.

        OK I am and guess I will always be a walking advert for the wonders of Huddersfield, I have seen other places and love Huddersfield and surrounding all the more for it.

  3. This goes on all the time in TV and film production, banking on the fact tbat only a few people know.

    The spaceship over New York in ID4 approaches the city from three different directions. No biggie!!!

  4. Pingback: Follow Up – Last of the Summer Whine « Armaitus on…

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