Uncategorized | July 21, 2004

In an attempt to spit-shine its image that’s been tarnished by the recent documentary Super Size Me and the ever growing number of obese Americans, a phenomenon directly linked to fast-food consumption, McDonald’s has launched a new up-beat, self-help print campaign. The slogan I saw in InStyle encourages the consumer to “make choices that make you happy” and the ad offers fashion tips for looking better. Presumably, McDonald’s has chosen to focus on shopping because making wise choices about eating would excise Big Macs, McRibbs and Chicken McNuggets (though now we are told they’re made from all white meat) from the average diet.

There’s something creepy about McDonald’s telling me to “lighten up, brighten up, and think pink . . .” or to “show a little skin.” After eating at McDonald’s three meals a day for thirty days, documentarian Morgan Spurlock had a little too much skin to show for it—twenty-four extra pounds worth.

As marketing coordinator at TMR, I pay attention to advertising and admire new, fresh approaches to product promotion. I can even stomach seemingly ceaseless product placement on televison shows such as Sex and the City. But McDonald’s new approach strikes me as—shall we say—disengenous. What’s next. Small-business management tips from Wal-Mart?