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.