McCafé’s recent controversial television ad- Baby Drive-thru


Brands want to use unforgettable advertising to attract more guests, thereby improving the brand’s performance, and McCafé is no exception. McCafé recently launched a controversial advertisement in Australia:  An exhausted father passed through a deserted McCafé’s driveway endlessly, and the staff frantically tried to fill his order instead of awakening his sleeping baby by a loud inquiry.1

(McCafe® – Baby Drive-thru 60”)2

After the launch of the advertisement, the Australian Ad Standards Board received complaints from hundreds of individuals. Apparently, some of those people weren’t happy that the advertising promoted “unsafe driving” – The father in the advertisement did not always put his hands on the steering wheel. In addition, he did not stop the car when he took the meal and paid for it.

There are also many people who have raised different opinions, especially the parents of some children. It has been pointed out that most children’s parents have experienced a scene: the child refuses to fall asleep in the middle of the night and keeps crying. Parents can only put their children in the car, drive around and around, hope that the soothing rhythm can make children fall asleep.1

This is a common thing, and it is clear that McCafé also noticed that the father in the advertisement did just that. The father drove at night in an attempt to buy a cup of coffee which could refresh himself. Instead of waking up his baby by speaking out loud about his needs, he crossed the driveway over and over again to buy coffee by making a mouth shape. It looks funny and cute, and it is also very smart. From the beginning of the doubts, McCafé’s staff eagerly wanted to give the father a cup of hot coffee. Everything looks particularly beautiful and warm. This reflects the purpose of McCafé: “McCafe we’re coffee people”. During this process, the father has been looking through the rearview mirror to see if the baby is asleep.3

In response to the complaint, McDonald’s pointed out that his father has been driving at a low speed, and he has been confirming that the child is safe and most of the time his hands are on the steering wheel. Fortunately, the Australian Ad Standards Board agreed with the statement of McCafé. They believe that this advertisement does not encourage irresponsible driving habits.3

This shows that controversial advertising does not necessarily have a negative impact. In fact, this advertising has gained more than 110K likes, 12K comments, and 100K shares after the Kidspot’s(one famous website in Australia) share.3 This also encourages brands to be more willing to take risks when launching advertisings.


  1. Cox, M. (2018, August 24). Every parent we know loves this McCafe ad – do you have a problem with it? Retrieved from
  2. Australia, M. (2018, July 11). McCafe® – Baby Drive-thru 60″. Retrieved from

  3. Winston, N. (2018, August 27). This ad showed a dad trying to keep his baby asleep. But people still complained about it. Retrieved from



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