Thursday, September 27, 2007

What was with that McDonald’s Commercial We Saw on TV a Couple of Weeks Ago?

Perhaps you saw it too: The one that showed a vaguely Hispanic guy sitting in a hammock or lawn chair on a sunny stage set decorated with fake blooming flowers and buzzing birds and/or bees? The guy is happily feeding his face with a wad of grease from McDonald’s while an announcer yammers something about the entrée costing only a dollar now and in the future, too, apparently because the dollar is so strong (which was news to us and the rest of the world, English-speaking and non-English speaking). Then you see another, similarly Euro-ish Hispanic guy who for some reason is holding up a hand-lettered sign that says “8.75 pesos” (it may have said “9.3 pesos,” as we weren’t taking notes, saw the ad only twice and didn’t snap-to to pay attention until the second viewing*) while standing against a dark, moody, urban-ish backdrop. The guy in the hammock smiles and waves the guy with the sign over, the non-verbalized message being that he needs to be over in the sunshine, where he can unload those shaky pesos and enjoy the still-only-a-dollar feed from McD’s. Next thing you see is the guy with the sign, except now he’s in the sunshine/on the hammock, eating some artery-clogging McDonald’s fare and motioning over a woman who’s standing against the dark backdrop and holding a sign reading “10.75 pesos” (maybe 11-something), a fairly remarkable slide in the space of 60 seconds.

This was one of the most bizarre things we’ve seen on television in a half century-plus of watching**---stranger, even, than the mere notion of the oreo pizza, our new favorite metaphor for early 21st century America---and not just because it’s the only commercial we can recall that uses currency exchange as a hook to sell a product. We can only conclude that McDonald’s is urging all of Mexico to come on over, have a hamburguesa and enjoy our strong, stable dollar (at least when compared to the peso, which may not qualify as a real currency).

But a multinational corporation wouldn’t encourage illegal activity just to sell hamburgers, would it?

We only hope one of our Republican U.S. senators will promptly sponsor a resolution condemning this outrageous abuse of free speech.

*This was about three weeks back and though we have waited eagerly for its return we have not seen the ad since, suggesting someone at McDonald’s may have sobered up.
**We’ve fallen into a deep depression after realizing the implications of that line. Excuse us while we sit down.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm sure those of you who aren't in the cattle business don't understand the issues here.
But to those of us who who's living depends on the cattle market, selling cattle, raising the best beef possible... this is frustrating.
As far as my family, we don't eat at McDonald's much (Subway is our choice of fast food), but this will keep us from ever stopping there again, even for a drink.
The original message is from the Texas Cattle Feeders Association.
American cattle producers are very passionate about this.
McDonald's claims that there is not enough beef in the USA to support their restaurants. Well, we know that is not so. Our opinion is they are looking to save money at our expense. The sad thing of it is that the people of the USA are the ones who made McDonald's successful in the first place, but we are not good enough to provide beef
We personally are no longer eating at McDonald's, which I am sure does not make an impact, but if we pass this around maybe there will be an impact felt.
Please pass it on
Just to add a note, all Americans that sell cows at a livestock auction barn had to sign a paper stating that we do NOT EVER feed our cows any part of another cow. South Americans are not required to do this as of yet.
McDonald's has announced that they are going to start importing much of their beef from South America The problem is that South Americans aren't under the same regulations as American beef producers, and the regulations they have are loosely controlled.
They can spray numerous pesticides on their pastures that have been banned here at home because of residues found in the beef. They can also use various hormones and growth regulators that we can't. The American public needs to be aware of this problem and that they may be putting themselves at risk from now on by eating at good old McDonald's.
American ranchers raise the highest quality beef in the world and this is what Americans deserve to eat. Not beef from countries where quality is loosely controlled. Therefore, I am proposing a boycott of McDonald's until they see the light.
I'm sorry but everything is not always about the bottom line, and when it comes to jeopardizing my family's health, that is where I draw the line.
I am sending this note to about thirty people. If each of you send it to at least ten more (30 x 10 = 300) ... and those 300 send it to at least ten more (300 x 10 = 3,000) .. and so on, by the time the message reaches the sixth generation of people, we will have reached over THREE MILLION consumers!
I'll bet you didn't think you and I had that much potential, did you?
Acting together we can make a difference. If this makes sense to you, please pass this message on.
David W. Forrest, Ph.D
Department of Animal Science
Texas A&M University
(979) 845-3560
2471 TA! MU Fax (979) 862-3399
College Station, TX 77843-2471