Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Quarter Pounder with Lawsuit

McDonald's has launched a website to remind us of one of their longtime products, the Quarter Pounder with Cheese. There's a picture of a grease-covered burger, and some different "Lessons in Confidence" you can click on. Would you care to know how a cheeseburger with 70% of your saturated fat intake and 49% of your sodium can help you fight a bear, waterski among piranhas and win a slam dunk contest? Oh, well then read on, friends!

How to deal with a North American black bear
When you encounter a black bear in the wild, it's important to muster the confidence of a Quarter Pounder with Cheese

Sometimes I think this site should be called "Who Are the Corporate Attorneys Who Approved THAT One?" I mean, come on -- this is the company that gets sued when someone spills coffee on themselves in the drive thru. And loses. And here they are actively encouraging people to fight a bear. And fight one using a fucking cheeseburger. That is one potentially expensive not-that-funny joke, McDonald's. How much do you want to bet they get some nasty phonecalls from parents on this one?

1. Stand your ground. Running away makes you fun to chase. Plus, black bears usually bluff when attacking. Your bluff just needs to be better.

Jesus, this is amateurish. I realize McDonald's isn't trying to be a wilderness guide, but since I've hiked in bear country before, I feel it necessary to link to an informative bear safety site.

2. Fight back. When a black bear sees that their (sic) opponent is ready to go for broke, they'll ease up. But you've got to really sell it. During the whoopin', don't forget to stop and realize how killer it is that you're totally schooling a black bear.

Uh huh. Because a human would win in a fight against a charging black bear in the wild. I don't care how many QPCs you had for breakfast, you are not winning a fight against a bear.

Also, what 22-year old faux hipster wrote this shit? This is like late-90's high school yearbook-level copywriting. "Whoopin'"? "Schooling"? "Killer"? Maybe Diablo Cody is moonlighting for McDonald's. Wait! This just inspired me to come up with the best, totally non-outdated new slogan for McDonald's:

"I'm McLovin' it!"

3. Enjoy a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. You deserve it.

I love the pencil graphic of the guy all beaten up eating a Quarter Pounder. Is there a more appetizing image that someone who just got mauled by a wild animal?

There are some other painfully over-written "lessons in confidence." Because, apparently, the inanimate Quarter Pounder with Cheese is somehow endowed with personality traits. Check out this one:

How to buy a big ticket item with only change
Do you have what it takes to make a purchase with nothing but full metal coinage? The Quarter Pounder with Cheese does.

Okay, A. No, it does not. Since it's a piece of fried beef smothered in fake cheese on a 2-cent bun. And B. "Full metal coinage?" Who are you, Jack Black? This is the work of a hack. This kind of copywriting was shat out by someone at 10pm on a Sunday night after polishing off a seventh Smirnoff Ice, and then turned in on Monday morning, riddled with typos, 5 minutes before it had to be sent to the client. This is soul-crushing copywriting. Whoever wrote this lacks human emotion.

1. Act natural. You know you're carrying around a pillowcase full of change, you don't need any nasty looks to tell you that. So just hold your head high and go with it.

2. Don't take no for an answer. No matter how much they complain or how many people are in line behind you, don't back down. It's real money. They have to accept it.

Funny thing. No they don't. I love when shit is just factually inaccurate. Isn't that the best when people don't even spend two minutes to look something up?

So, not only would a person paying with a pillowcase full of change in front of a huge line of people be a complete dick, but s/he would also be legally wrong to force the retailer to accept the coins. Oh well, at least this "Lesson in Confidence" is laugh-til-you-cry hilarious, right?

3. Drop a bag of coin on a Quarter Pounder with Cheese. You're worth it.

Oh my gosh, you guys. Let's all totally do this!!! Go into a McD tomorrow and be like, "I'm paying for this Quarter Pounder with 400 pennies." Or, if you wanted to talk like the hack who wrote this website, you could be all, "Wassup, peeps!! Hook me up with a fly QPC. Now let me lay down some sweet Lincoln heads for y'all! 23 Skidoo!"

Wouldn't you love to be the person at McDonald's getting the calls from the franchisees after this? "I just had four assholes pay for their Quarter Pounders with a jar of change! And they made me take it because that retarded McDonald's web site told them to!!" Seems like a smart move on McDonald's part.

Oh, there are more lessons, but they're all equally moronic. Owning a slam dunk contest ("Dunk like whoa"), fleecing a car salesman, becoming a reality TV star. Some of these are so awful they're almost depressing. But I think the last part of the "waterskiing with piranhas" lesson sums up the essence of the whole goofy campaign:

You're awesome. You know what else is awesome? A Quarter Pounder with Cheese. So, get one.

"Awesome. Awesome. Product name. Call-to-action."

Did you just fall asleep reading that? If you did, you missed what is perhaps the laziest, clumsiest, hackiest line of copy ever written. For anything. Congratulations, McDonald's.

Oh, and if you're a recently laid-off lawyer -- you may want to look into positions at McDonald's. I bet they'll be hiring soon.


Windier E. Megatons said...

This kind of reminds of those Holiday Inn Express ads - where originally the joke was that "it won't make you smarter, but you'll feel smarter," and people would be shown trying things they had no right to be doing and not necessarily succeeding, either. And then I'm guessing someone decided that "hey, we don't want to tell people it won't make them smarter!" And so the ads became "Suddenly I can perform open-heart surgery, because I stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night!" I just found that turn ridiculous.

And this is basically the same thing. What is confidence-inspiring about eating a quarter pounder? "It tastes great and it knows it" just makes me want to die. Does that mean anything? (Answer: no.)

Allan said...

Is there anything that means anything? The universe and McDonald's ads tend toward greater entropy.

Adam said...

23 Skidoo!

Adam said...

You've forgot to mention that McDonalds is also guilty of withholding technological breakthroughs. I mean, they've invented a time machine for the purpose of obtaining 90's copywriters for the sole purpose of having them write antiquated phrases in their new ad campaign.

Patrick said...

Wow. Some of this is even MORE tone-deaf than "I'd hit it".