Certainly not a morning person, Kele Okereke, plays in the English indie rock band Bloc Party –currently on hiatus– and visited Paris last month to promote his first solo album, The Boxer.
Between yawns, Kele gives Yagg some insight on his album, on his role towards young fans as an openly gay singer, and on his saucy interview for Butt.
On August 27th, Kele will perform live some songs from The Boxer during the famous Rock en Seine festival, held each year in the Domaine National de Saint-Cloud, just outside Paris. Surely he will have recovered his energy by then!
Featured on television and movie theaters in France, one of McDonald's newest commercials portrays a young gay man talking to his boyfriend on the phone, while his father waits in the restaurant's line. Once back together, the father tells his son how successful he would be with girls, if only he were not in an all boys college. The clumsy remark is followed by the boy's awkward and kind of sad smile, while the ad closes with the campaign's slogan, "Come as you are" (Venez comme vous êtes).
OVER TWO MILLION VIEWS ON YOUTUBE
Uploaded and subtitled by Yagg, the commercial has received worldwide attention with almost two million views on Youtube and has been a polemic subject, especially since Bill O’Reilly insinuated on FOX News that McDonald’s might as well feature an Al-Qaeda ad, as part of this campaign. This comparison raised protests from the Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation (Glaad) who demand a public apology from O’Reilly.
On his part, McDonald’s operation’s chief in the US confirmed during an interview for the Chicago Tribune that the commercial would not air in America): “[...] at McDonald’s there are core values we stand for and the world is getting much closer [...] (We talk) about things that may have an implication in one part of the world and may be the cultural norm in another part of the world. And those are things that, yes, we’re going to learn from. But, you’re right, that commercial won’t show in the United States”.
MCDONALD'S FRANCE IS NOT TARGETING GAYS
In France, contacted by Yagg, McDonald’s brand director, Nathalie Legarlantezec, denied that the fast food chain is targeting gays with the commercial and explained: “McDonald’s clientele in France is the country’s entire population, we don’t need to target anyone specific. We hope that this kind of picture will be able to touch anybody, homosexual or not. Personally, as a mother, I am not specifically concerned. And still, when I see that kid look up at his father... it gives me goose bumps. I find it beautiful and intense, and I think its positive that society has evolved in such way”.
According to Stéphane Xiberras, president and creative director of BETC Euro RSCG, the agency that created the campaign, the ad has received positive feedback from the gay community. However, critical voices denounce the marketing campaign as cynic and greedy. What do you think? Watch McDonald’s gay ad and judge by yourself.