McDonald’s Japan region locks new wholesome anime ad

McDonald's Japan

McDonald’s Japan has surprisingly region-locked their latest anime ad.

Late last year, McDonald’s Japan began releasing animated shorts showing a happy family, teenage friends/lovers hanging out, and even some cool Halloween creatures enjoying a sunset drive with dinner.

All of these ads made a splash with western Twitter users who appreciated the wholesome imagery, calming music, and an uncanny sense of nostalgia for a time and place they may have never experienced.

However it seems that McDonald’s Japan is now restricting their ads to be unviewable outside of Japan. At least two animations have been uploaded in recent days that users are unable to watch without a VPN.

Luckily, fans have begun reuploading the animation for users to see outside of Japan.

Some fans are speculating that this change in approach is a result of McDonald’s recent “WcDonald’s” ad campaign which tried to cash in on the anime fanbase. However the reception to WcDonald’s was split between enthusiasm towards the anime shoutout, and criticism for how it cynically portrayed anime as something silly and through the lens of shonen series, it had strong vibes of low quality dubs and relied heavily on stereotypes about anime.

As a result, some fans believe that McDonald’s Japan may be compelled by the American branch to hide their ads from western viewers out of concern it could make them look bad. For some reason, American McDonald’s has been unable to recapture the style and mood that drew fans to the Japanese ads in the first place.

Of course it’s difficult to prove whether that’s true or not, but it seems like a strange change for McDonald’s Japan after they experienced international success with their previous ads.

What do you think? Has the main McDonald’s branch been embarrassed and is trying to hide the competition? Or maybe there’s a less sinister reason for this sudden change?



A basement-dwelling ogre, Brandon's a fan of indie games and slice of life anime. Has too many games and not enough time.

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