Branding ads typically take the better part of a year to gain traction.

But some branding ads can create major effects within months.

And those that manage this feat do so by social engineering rather than classical conditioning.

In other words, branding ads that make big things happen fast typically don’t aim to condition you to associate a brand with a given quality or promise.

Instead, they aim to convince you that everyone else — aka, the public at large — already associates the brand with a given quality or promise.

Because it’s relatively hard to directly influence your inner thoughts and judgments, but relatively easy to influence your perceptions of what other people think and feel.

How exactly do you do that?

Check out this recent McDonald’s ad directed by the legendary Edgar Wright:


Notice that the ad isn’t trying to personally persuade you of anything about McDonald’s.

Heck, it doesn’t even bother to show you the food or the restaurant.

What it shows you is a mass of people at a workplace who already believe that McDonald’s represents the perfect work-break.

Better yet, it shows you a mass of employees who already have an insider’s code for “Let’s go for a McDonald’s break.”

Or in Brit-speak: “Fancy a McDonald’s?”

And when enough people have seen this ad, I guarantee you they’ll adopt the same eyebrow hijinks displayed in this ad for themselves.

They’ll do this in exactly the same way that much of America adopted “Leggo my Eggo” for themselves, back when those ads were in heavy rotation in the 80s.

And that’s how it’s done, folks.

Wanna put that same power to work for your ads? Let’s talk.