A YouTube marketing effort was recently launched by McDonald’s with the hope of appearing more transparent regarding their food sourcing. They’ve coined the PR effort, “Our Food. Your Questions.”
The troubling thing about the video shorts is their obvious high production quality, which I feel makes them appear quite contrived. They present characters like “Grant Imahara” and “Wes Bellamy” who are supposed to appear like ordinary people – but we honestly don’t know who these people are and what they are receiving from the golden arches as compensation for their time in the productions. But hey, they look happy.
The videos are all smiles, with commentary that plays into the public perception of McDonald’s, and ultimately just creates more questions for the viewer. Have they improved their sourcing? Are we seeing new manufacturing efforts initiated only recently? Is McDonald’s acknowledging their processes of today, hoping the public will lose their perception of yesterday?
It’s been a while since I’ve eaten anything at McDonald’s, after being mostly disappointed from the late night runs with friends in college. I never really felt like I was eating something that would provide me sustenance and that’s a feeling that I greatly pay attention to. I like walking away from a meal feeling clean, like I ate something that wasn’t a reshaped, preservative-filled, frozen patty – reheated in an engineered oven-drawer of soaking barbecue sauce.
“Why is the McRib only sold seasonally,” asks the consumers? A McDonald’s executive responds, “absence makes the heart grow fonder.” No McDonald’s, absence makes the heart grow stronger.
Perception is an important and powerful thing. A couple of videos will not sway the general public from choosing alternatives that make them feel better about what they are spending money on. And besides, most people are happier not spending their money today. Crushing debt isn’t fun anymore. Sorry 2006.
Anyways, enjoy the two most striking ads they’ve published to YouTube and try not to laugh, because I did without a beat:
Update 2017: McDonald’s has since removed these commercials but luckily they can still be found on YouTube for your viewing pleasure.