Ad Nut
Jan 26, 2017

What's this strange exotic fruit covered in vicious spikes?

McDonald's gives a funny lesson in imperial Chinese history.

Thousands of concubines were at the beck and call of ancient Chinese emperors, providing easy access to pleasures of the flesh. But when it came to pleasures of the stomach? Not so easy, it seems.

At least not according to the version of history put forward here by McDonald's, in which all-powerful emperors had to wait for almost a year to taste a shrimp, had to ride horses for miles to harvest a lychee, and didn't even know how to cut a pineapple.

Modern commoners like us have it easy...because of The Emperor's Shrimp Bun, Smiling Concubine's Lychee Tea and The Empress's Pineapple Burger, available right there at your neighbourhood McD's counter.

See more Chinese/Lunar New year ads

Whether historically accurate or not, the American fast-food brand rarely tells individual product stories that are so closely linked to Imperial China. Most Chinese New Year ads in the past have been direct descriptions of the seasonal menu. It's a good move to reflect the cultural milieu, since period dramas have become quite popular among younger Chinese consumers in recent years.

Ad Nut's favourite ad to snigger about (above) is the one featuring this strange exotic fruit covered in vicious spikes that nobody knows how to eat—even with the deployment of a sword.

Well, Ad Nut can crack open the hardest of walnuts; a mere pineapple is no challenge at all. Silly human monarchs and their clueless servants!

Check out the other two spots below. The campaign is led by creative agency Leo Burnett Shanghai, animation studio Wuhu and production house Tribe.


Ad NutAd Nut is a surprisingly literate woodland creature that for some unknown reason has an unhealthy obsession with advertising. Ad Nut gathers ads from all over the world and presents them for your viewing pleasure. Because Ad Nut loves you.

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