McDonald’s Archenemies: The Protagonist v Antagonist 

The new McDonald’s commercial, Archenemies, is a great 60-second spot all aspiring writers should watch again and again.


Penguin and BatmanThey say a story is only as good as the battle going on between the protagonist and the antagonist. That’s the battle between the good guy and the bad guy. If a writer fails to establish a significant level of contrast, the story will be boring.

The new commercial from McDonald’s helps by showing iconic archenemies, but the twist is the premise that McDonald’s food is so good, even these guys can put things aside and enjoy a drink, fries, chicken nuggets or a burger.

We may not all be fortunate to create black and white, good and evil, iconic good guys and bad guys as they are portrayed here in the McDonald’s commercial, but we should all endeavor to portray such opposing relationships in what we write if we are wanting to write good, solid fiction. Otherwise, we are not being true to the art of storytelling.

If the difference between your protagonist and antagonist isn’t as vividly clear as the one between Batman and Penguin, the postman and a dog, Dorothy and the Wicked Witch, donkeys and elephants, and on, then you really need to spend a little more time raising the stakes of your story and more clearly establishing what it is the protagonist is wanting and what the antagonist is fighting with all of his or her might to prevent.

McDonald’s did a great job of magnifying the differences of these archenemies and the power of their food in being able to unite foes. But ask yourself where literature would be if knights and dragons, and coed swimmers and sharks were ever able to get along?

McDonald’s please keep selling your food. For those of us writing, don’t forget your story goes nowhere if your protagonist and antagonist aren’t duking it out for something bigger than french fries.



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