McD's dumb sex ad
January 29, 2005 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Double Cheeseburger? I'd hit it. Oh man, the buns on that quarter pounder are totally hott.
posted by Count Ziggurat (77 comments total)


 
Maybe you'd like to add a 'Fark' tag also.
posted by orange clock at 12:39 PM on January 29, 2005


Wow, that was disappointing.
posted by Space Coyote at 12:45 PM on January 29, 2005


It made me hungry...

And now we're all looking at a McDonald's ad..

Maybe it's not McDonalds that is stupid in this conversation.
posted by PissOnYourParade at 12:49 PM on January 29, 2005


*has sudden revelation about the 'special sauce'*

*runs screaming*
posted by jonmc at 12:56 PM on January 29, 2005


I've seen this banner ad a few times, and it struck me as (inadvertantly) hilarious. Glad someone got around to blogging on the ridiculous slang usage in the ad.

'Course, isn't the first time advertising has misused language.
posted by bullitt 5 at 1:00 PM on January 29, 2005


It made me hungry...

It did the opposite for me. I have enough fears about what goes on in restaurant kitchens.

Anyway, if someone tries it and gets a severe dick burn from a slice of hot American cheesefoodproductgoo, I wonder if he'll be able to sue?
posted by pracowity at 1:01 PM on January 29, 2005


I just saw a billboard for T-mobile (I think), in which their JD Powers awards are referred to embarrassingly as "bling bling"
posted by O9scar at 1:04 PM on January 29, 2005


That ain't mayonnaise...
posted by dhoyt at 1:08 PM on January 29, 2005


McDonald's: I'm Lovin' It. I'm Lovin' It. I'm...I'm...Yes Yes Oh God Yes FUCK YES I'M LOVIN' IT!!!!
posted by fandango_matt at 1:09 PM on January 29, 2005


i think they are completely conscious of the subtext. they are at once signifying sex to a community that is in the know about the slang but largely uncritical, and at the same time signifying hipness to the vast majority of their intended market who imagine themselves hip but are uncritical, and then there are those of us who think it is funny and are critical but still will be more likely to buy a big mac after thinking about it than we were before.
posted by milkman at 1:14 PM on January 29, 2005


and then there are those of us who think it is funny and are critical but still will be more likely to buy a big mac after thinking about it than we were before.

And then there are those of us who NO WE AREN'T.
posted by The God Complex at 1:18 PM on January 29, 2005


But if you are so vehement you probably are not in their target audience. The point of advertising is to put the product in your immediate consciousness.
If you are thinking about it (and we are talking about it), they win.
posted by milkman at 1:21 PM on January 29, 2005


Anyone else eaten MORE McD burgers since they saw Super-size me?
posted by Saddo at 1:21 PM on January 29, 2005


MMM CHILF. If there was only some way to incorporate a cigarette into the mix...
posted by HyperBlue at 1:22 PM on January 29, 2005


And then there are those of us who NO WE AREN'T.

True enough.

While I've eaten at Mickey D's countless times in my life, I've still never eaten a Big Mac, because I don't like pickles, iceberg lettuce, and raw onion. And all the advertising in the world isn't going to change that.
posted by jonmc at 1:22 PM on January 29, 2005


Exactly. Big Macs are terrible. I mean I'm not against eating at McDonald's ever--especially if I don't have the time for something else--but a Big Mac? Yuck. Plus, I honestly think that some chains are so large that advertising does very little for them, at least in relation to me. And I never see advertising for something like McDonalds and think "oh, jesus, that would be good."

But I'm not American--maybe it's different down there? I don't thump my bible to fast-food menus ;)
posted by The God Complex at 1:25 PM on January 29, 2005


Everybody knows that the currect response to "Double Cheeseburger?" is "But I just met her!"
posted by deanc at 1:25 PM on January 29, 2005


mmmmmmmmmmm, full of bloggy goodness.
posted by fixedgear at 1:28 PM on January 29, 2005


The ad made me think people who eat at McD's have domestic violence issues.
posted by haqspan at 1:32 PM on January 29, 2005


Big Macs ain't bad. Especially not compared to their "healthy" salads. But has anybody tried one of their "deli" sandwiches?
posted by davy at 1:34 PM on January 29, 2005


Exactly. Big Macs are terrible. I mean I'm not against eating at McDonald's ever--especially if I don't have the time for something else--but a Big Mac? Yuck.

Exactly, TGC. If McDonald's wants to do effective advertising, they should emphasize the actual traits that make people eat there: it's cheap, convenient, and filling.

And davy's right that they should quit trying to "branch out." Don't try to make pizza, deli sandwiches and salads. Stick to burgers and fries.
posted by jonmc at 1:38 PM on January 29, 2005




I get tired of people bashing how McDonald's food tastes. During "Supersize Me," everyone in our little liberal cinema was yelling "Oh gross! Disgusting! A hamburger!"

They taste GREAT for how cheap they are (at least, how cheap they are to the company). You feel like crap for hours after, and they set off some people's disgust alarm, but come on. The Big Mac is genius. There's no one else on earth that could make that few ingredients seem like a good idea when you're hungry.

Saddo: I gave up on McD's after Fast Food Nation, but oddly, Supersize Me sent me back. Dammit!
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 2:01 PM on January 29, 2005


Hmm. Rice, fish, seaweed. I think sushi might have the Big Mac beat on the "few ingredients" front.

Fast Food Nation was surprisingly supportive of the food quality at McD's et al. He claimed the fast food restaurants get the cleanest meat these days since they are kings of the hill. Too bad what they do with it isn't very healthy.
posted by sninky-chan at 2:10 PM on January 29, 2005


Jonmc If McDonald's wants to do effective advertising, they should ....

um.

i think McDonalds could teach us all a few things.
posted by milkman at 2:12 PM on January 29, 2005


If you are thinking about it (and we are talking about it), they win.

Nah, that's only one step towards buying it, which I'm still not going to do.
posted by abcde at 2:13 PM on January 29, 2005


i think McDonalds could teach us all a few things.

Like what? I have a feeling I know what some of your answers will be, but I could be wrong.
posted by jonmc at 2:15 PM on January 29, 2005


I'm not saying they are a good force in the world.

but they certainly are effective advertisers.
posted by milkman at 2:19 PM on January 29, 2005


McMilf! McMilf! McMilf!
posted by Hands of Manos at 2:21 PM on January 29, 2005


Well, that's kind of debatable, since they seem to be pushing the wrong qualities of what makes them appeal to people, as I mentioned earlier.

Of course that can backfire. Burger King (who are in many ways superior to McD's) supposedly surveyed customers about what they found most appealing about BK. "Convenience," topped the list. So they launched the "Your way, right away," campaign and their sales dropped. But the "Hold the pickles, hold the lettuce, special orders don't upset us," is acknowledged as a classic gambit, so much so that McD's has imitated it (You can order a Quarter Pounder without pickles and onions now, mmmm).
posted by jonmc at 2:24 PM on January 29, 2005


McMilf!

Meat I'd like to...?
posted by Zurishaddai at 2:26 PM on January 29, 2005


dougunderscorenelso: Liberals hate hamburgers? Are hamburgers conservative now? It's so hard for me to keep up with this binary liberal/conservative labeling minefield that permeates every mundane aspect of life nowadays.

Many people bash the way McDonald's hamburgers taste because they taste like shit, not because they hate hamburgers. I love hamburgers. I hate McDonald's (but you're welcome to it); I make do with Five Guys; I pine for In-N-Out. Supersize Me was boring.
posted by casu marzu at 2:27 PM on January 29, 2005


we can be as critical as we want. but the fact is that McDonalds has better brand recognition than just about any other company in the world.

could they do some things differently and make you happier? perhaps. but in the game that mcdonalds understands itself as playing, they win.
posted by milkman at 2:35 PM on January 29, 2005


And davy's right that they should quit trying to "branch out." Don't try to make pizza, deli sandwiches and salads. Stick to burgers and fries.

I dunno about this, jonmc. Well, I agree, but is it possible for McDonald's to behave this way in the current American market? Public companies seem to be governed by the "always keep growing" dictate, and McDonald's is, I imagine, fairly saturated in the US. So they have to do something to satisfy shareholders.

(Whether or not this is rational behavior is another discussion...)

About that ad -- yuck. But I have to imagine it was intentional. A marketing exec. wouldn't approve of the use of a term they hadn't bothered to research and understand, would they? Ah, who knows.
posted by teece at 2:39 PM on January 29, 2005


White Castle. Now, that I'd hit.
posted by oflinkey at 2:40 PM on January 29, 2005


teece, strictly in business terms, to say nothing of aesthetic terms, there's a lot to be said for finding something you do well and sticking to it.

offlinkey: preach on, brother!
posted by jonmc at 2:42 PM on January 29, 2005


Well, over the past couple of years, the firm has really turned around. That's about when they started really tinkering with the menu, IIRC.
posted by trharlan at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2005


Teece, I can answer your question. I've worked as an advertising copywriter, and I'll tell you that the people who make the decisions will give or withhold an approval for all sorts of reasons, rational and not. Some are very smart and some aren't. There are a few that don't know anything about marketing, design, or writing. My feeling is that the guy who approved this ad was in this last category. But I hope that there's a lowly copywriter having a laugh about it.
posted by lackutrol at 2:48 PM on January 29, 2005


I find pastrami to be the most sensual of all the salted, cured meats.
posted by Galvatron at 2:58 PM on January 29, 2005


Anyone else eaten MORE McD burgers since they saw Super-size me?

I saw Super-Size me the other day, and I've actually just given up eating entirely. It's really working out well, I think I'll give up sleeping next.
posted by buriednexttoyou at 3:02 PM on January 29, 2005


Don't try to make pizza, deli sandwiches and salads. Stick to burgers and fries.

If you have kids, they probably want to go to McD's. These fancy-schmancy offerings are McD's way of convincing you that it wouldn't be altogether horrible to take your sprog there.
posted by selfmedicating at 3:04 PM on January 29, 2005


This reminds me of an old Michael Jackson joke...

Q: What do Michael Jackson and McDonald's have in common?

A: 40 year old meat between 10 year old buns!

Hey, since it's a silly thread, why not?
posted by shepd at 3:22 PM on January 29, 2005


i agree w/milkman. McDonalds has good advertising. As a matter of fact i think they are primarily an advertiser with a secondary skill in cuisine. Their food is not so good but their advertising symbols (ronald, you deserve a break, golden arches) are truly icons, embedded in all of our minds like sesame seeds on a bud. Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
posted by firemouth at 3:24 PM on January 29, 2005


on a bun, not a bud
posted by firemouth at 3:25 PM on January 29, 2005


Maybe it's pseudo innocent slip of the tongue, like the "Read Books, Get Brain" posters.
posted by just a monkey at 3:36 PM on January 29, 2005


I'm going to go hit a veggie burger. Word up, no diggity.
posted by papakwanz at 4:23 PM on January 29, 2005


Casu, no. But this theatre is extremely liberal (love it!) and I got kind of irritated that so many people would, out-loud, exclaim their shocked disgust for something that was being presented as a daily activity for millions.

But then, I got pissed off when people clapped for Tinkerbell, too.
posted by dougunderscorenelso at 4:31 PM on January 29, 2005


The two of you trying to fit the entire world into liberal/conservative categories reminds me of Puritans trying to categorize the world into good and evil.

There is a huge movement to make you small-minded, and this false liberal things/conservative things dichotomy is part of it. When someone is able to divide people into two warring groups, he can play them off each other to get more power for himself. You must fight this by realizing that there are shades of grey to everything, and spreading that idea to everyone you know.
posted by breath at 4:45 PM on January 29, 2005


breath, I'm acutely aware of that. Please recalibrate your sarcasm detector.
posted by casu marzu at 4:53 PM on January 29, 2005


"Hmm. Rice, fish, seaweed..."

You'll eat that, but you won't accept a man's (tv edit)*tongue*(/tv edit) in your mouth?

we all went to high school with molly ringwald
posted by zoogleplex at 5:04 PM on January 29, 2005


There is definitely no doubt as to whether or not the advertisers knew what they were doing. In a gross consumer kind of way, the ad is brilliant.
I also found Super-size me boring.
However, if you really want to argue about whether there food is good (its not) or if they are the leading advertisers in the world (the probably are) read fast food nation.
It is really interesting, and will make you realize how good this corporate insanity is at getting there name out and appealing to 'what the people want' (which is usually, lets face it, sex) - I haven't eaten at McDonalds since i read it, but not because I'm trying to make a point, but because it really is super gross.
posted by chatterbox at 5:17 PM on January 29, 2005


If McDonald's wanted a sexier image they should just run those Japanese McHotties ads everyone was linking a few months ago (they seem to have moved though). I guess everyone forgot the brief grown-up "Ronald at a bar" and "Ronald at a rave" ads from several years ago.

But has anybody tried one of their "deli" sandwiches?

Not bad, by weight I'd say Subway is cheaper. But I've tried a couple sandwiches and they were interesting in that they had a distinct flavour as oppossed to the generic bland comforting flavour of the rest of their menu.

Liberals hate hamburgers?

I saw some list recently of the years evilest corporations and it put the giant Harvey's burger with more fat than two Big Macs on the same list as the company behind the Bhopal disaster, so yeah I guess.
posted by bobo123 at 5:40 PM on January 29, 2005


CHILF wins!
posted by davidmsc at 5:45 PM on January 29, 2005


I saw some list recently of the years evilest corporations and it put the giant Harvey's burger with more fat than two Big Macs on the same list as the company behind the Bhopal disaster, so yeah I guess.

So...exactly how does this prove that liberals hate hamburgers? This here liberal didn't get about 15-20 pounds overweight eating tofurkey.
posted by NoMich at 5:55 PM on January 29, 2005


Maybe the hamburgers had to take one of those liberal/conservative quizzes. You have to wonder about the hamburger's stance on pornography, considering the topic of this thread.

I have a jar of lard in my refrigerator. I'm pretty sure the caloric content dwarfs that of a Big Mac. I command the hamburger to do my evil bidding!
posted by casu marzu at 6:06 PM on January 29, 2005


I don't think there's any debate over whether McD's is an effective advertiser, firemouth, milkman & co. I think the reaction is aimed more at the somewhat insulting nature of the ads. It's annoying to me as a young person that they would try to adopt what they perceive as my "language" to try to get me to eat one of their crappy burgers, and then not even put the effort into researching it and getting it right. I suspect the sex connection wasn't intentional -- just the result of some dumbass Friends-watching ad writer who has no real understanding of the audience s/he's talking to.

Another thing many adwriters seem to lack awareness of is the fact that, no matter how cool something is -- be it a slang term, speech affectation or what have you -- it becomes completely worthy of derision the second it's co-opted as advertising. I mean, does anyone use the term "bling-bling" anymore without a heavy dose of irony?
posted by hifiparasol at 6:44 PM on January 29, 2005


I'd hit it.

Looking up the definition of No Diggity, I can't see how it's being used wrong, except that probably no one says it anymore.
posted by drezdn at 6:57 PM on January 29, 2005


there's nothing liberal about it ... i hate mcdonalds because their food tastes lousy ... i'll eat at burger king ... i'll eat at wendy's ... i will not eat at mcdonald's ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:25 PM on January 29, 2005


pyramid termite, that's an answer I can respect. I'd eat at Wendy's more likely, too, tastewise. Except that the last time I walked into a Wendy's I saw some guy hit some woman (or a small man, I'm still not sure) so hard he/she bounced off the wall, lieterally. Kinda put me off my feed.
posted by jonmc at 9:01 PM on January 29, 2005


Here's one way I feel. The great swath of american consumers across the map are NOT in touch with the fine tuning of the ever-ephemeral lexicon of american youth. Just because it is ineffective on you, the hippest of the hip, doesn't mean it's ineffective on my internet savvy but culturally boring older sister. She sees the ad and thinks "cool, I heard that phrase on MTV" and then maybe goes out and buys a big mac. I think, too, my sister or mother or neighbor better represent McD's target than any one who goes online to dissect the meaning of advertising as it relates to slang awareness.
posted by firemouth at 10:21 PM on January 29, 2005


The sexual connotation to the ads is absolutely intentional. Campaign slogans for massive corporations like McDonald's are put through focus groups from their target demographics, and the association of hunger and sexual desire is hardly a new thing.
posted by bingo at 10:26 PM on January 29, 2005


I just want McDonalds to call me "gangsta" when they sell me shit--is that too much to ask?
posted by The God Complex at 10:31 PM on January 29, 2005


Love is a non-continuous verb, god damn it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:36 AM on January 30, 2005


People still eat at McDonalds? I mean people are aware that this isn't food right?
posted by cmacleod at 12:54 AM on January 30, 2005


Bingo, do you really think people waste time and money with focus groups for banner ads? Please. They're way too expensive for a small internet campaign.

I find it kinda funny that people think marketers are some big cabal; they aren't. By and large, they're just people trying to make a living, as given to bad decisions as anyone else.
posted by lackutrol at 1:43 AM on January 30, 2005


Are we forgetting "I Am Asian", McD's proudly pandering site for Asia and the Pacific Rim?

Nothing says McDonald's like acknowledging your continent.
posted by NickDouglas at 2:09 AM on January 30, 2005


McDonald's was named 'Marketer of the Year' 2004 by AdAge magazine, who now reports that McD ads target children as young as 4.
Shame about them moving the nutty McNippon films bobo123 but at least there are some screenshots here of the spectacular ads still out there.
posted by dabitch at 3:44 AM on January 30, 2005


Women = meat. Duh.
posted by petebest at 6:35 AM on January 30, 2005


ah, that's not my view of course.

*dials back sarcasmeter*
posted by petebest at 6:46 AM on January 30, 2005


Old 'n' busted:


New hotness: (aw, you get it...)
posted by MrMoonPie at 8:23 AM on January 30, 2005


lackutrol: Bingo, do you really think people waste time and money with focus groups for banner ads? Please. They're way too expensive for a small internet campaign.

Focus groups are not expensive at all (I've put one together myself, and it was practically free, while informative), but even if they were, we're not talking about 'people,' we're talking about a company that already spends massive amounts of money on advertising every year.

McDonald's (and most other companies with substantial advertising budgets) do not just come up with small campaigns, in any media, that are isolated from the rest of their ads in general. They are constantly re-examining the way that they as a company are perceived (as well as the way their various brands are perceived) in specific demographics, and looking for ways to tweak their image to improve market share.
posted by bingo at 8:34 AM on January 30, 2005


I read this whole thread. I know I'm late to the party.

Have none of you noticed that the phrase "I'd hit it" has been used, jokingly or ironically or whatever, to describe lots of things lately? Like, upon seeing a nice car or a 60" flat screen or a sexy laptop or something? Umm, now that I think of it, it's used in exactly the same sort of way that you'd call something like a laptop "sexy", which web people do all the time without it being strange.

I know that McD's and I cannot possibly be 6 - 12 months further up then MeFi on the cool timeline. Something's up.
posted by tirade at 2:40 PM on January 30, 2005


Than.
posted by tirade at 2:41 PM on January 30, 2005


The eternal difficulty inherent in being a smarmy academic-type critic of pop culture is that it's easy to lose sight of the mindsets of the people you're making hypothetical arguments about. Now that I think on it, I've known several people who have absorbed much of their pop culture via corporations talking at them.

McDonald's food still tastes like ass, though. Fitting, I suppose that they should strike the comparison themselves...
posted by hifiparasol at 2:50 PM on January 30, 2005


McDonald's food still tastes like ass

From t-ShirtHumor.com
posted by MonkeySaltedNuts at 3:57 PM on January 30, 2005


The eternal difficulty inherent in being a smarmy academic-type critic of pop culture is that it's easy to lose sight of the mindsets of the people you're making hypothetical arguments about.

Yes. We primitives are such strange creatures.
posted by jonmc at 7:05 PM on January 30, 2005


Double Cheeseburger? I'd hit it.

I would not, however, eat it. That would be way disgusting.
posted by soyjoy at 9:41 AM on January 31, 2005


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