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McDonalds in bid to take over the web

Almost 600 million eyes viewed McDonalds display ads online in March 2008, according to comScore

This week sees the Cannes Advertising Festival. Where a lot of advertising people and clients drink themselves silly and whisper sweet everythings into each others' ears.

I love it myself. But, being on the creative side of the business, only when you have something in competition that has a chance of winning an award.

McDonalds has already achieved a victory this week, according to the eyeball counters at comScore.

Not in Cannes (yet), but on the web.

comScore announced this week that McDonalds enjoyed the unprecedented attention of almost 600 million eyeballs in March with their display ads. (that's two eyeballs per person, for the cyclops reading this)

Which means that the burger company comScored more than 33% of the share of voice of the Top Ten Quick Serve Restaurants.

For some reason, McDonalds enjoys almost fifteen times the number of display views as Burger King.

It appears that Ronald and his cohorts (who have been responsible for some truly excellent advertising over the last twenty years) have worked out that there are huge numbers of bored workers sitting in front of their computers getting hungry all morning.

So why not tickle their palate, which is probably being destroyed by those two bitter office staples- coffee and gossip.

Ryan McFarland (

The rumor is that the growth of display advertising on the web is markedly slowing, because clients are not seeing the results that they would wish.

Another rumor is that the reason for this slowdown is that people see the display ads, but then go to search ads to find the very best deal for the very desire the search ad has stimulated.

Let me toss out a subjective rumor.

The pop-up did a lot of damage. Banner ads that flashed to the point of vomit-inducing vertigo made it worse.

While TV audiences were used to seeing ads from the very beginning, and at least some of them were entertaining, people recoiled against some of the advertising detritus they were served online for years.

They preferred word of mouth that sent them to specific entertaining sites, like BurgerKing's brilliant or Philips' astoundingly deep

People just aren't that fond of being interrupted online. They have things to do. Like seeing if Rumer Willis really can find a way to look like her Mom.

TV quickly became part of the domestic furniture, just another light you turned on when you came into the house.

Your laptop is a different being. Something more personal, something far more evocative of your private self.

Many display ads online are the equivalent of a father walking into his teenage daughter's room to check on what she's doing.

In the vernacular of my home town, the reaction they get is "Bog off."

McDonalds clearly feels that its dominating presence will bring rewards.

It will be interesting to see whether the company will see its heavy online activity slide more burgers into the nation's epiglottises.

Yes, there is a McDonalds in Cannes. On the main square where locals play boules. And just a few paces from the Palais des Festivals.