College Retrospective

April 21, 2010

Gotta have ’em!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — johnyourk @ 4:39 pm

This is the new slogan for McDonald’s. And no, I don’t have a personal war with Mcdonald’s. They just happen to do something I’m not particularly liking. And I notice them more. They do have more ads than any other fast food chain. I’ve seen this ad on bilboards and every other possible place that there could be ads placed. And I’ve started noticing this new ad campaign probably about a month ago. But about a half hour ago I saw, on my way to school, on of the ads on a bus. And i really looked at it this time and thought about it.

This ad illustrates our culture, in my opinion. And this isn’t the first. There have been ads with this angle for probably the past decade but none are coming to mind and this kinda epitomizes it.

The angle is that this ad blurs the lines between wants and needs. And illustrates our consumerist culture of “I gotta have it” mindset. This mindset is dangerous but is becoming a more and more common theme in the american culture. That we feel the need to want. And that we’ll be happy wanting more and more. And when we get whatever it is we get, that we’ll be happy. But oh how quickly that superficial happiness fades. and we’re left with junk and obesity.

I personally don’t like ads that tell me what I want or need. and they’re out there all the time. And it reflects our culture, sadly. well, that’s all I have to say on this subject.

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April 19, 2010

The extinction of the “dollar menu”

     I know I shouldn’t be eating fast food since I’m currently in a sport right now, but every now and then this season, I’ve went to the local Mcdonald’s or Burger King. And something I noticed yesterday at night when I went to Burger King; It was a poster in the window advertising a new burger, called the “buck double”. I would’ve been confused by this ad if McDonald’s didn’t come out with their own version month’s earlier. It looked just like a double cheeseburger except it had one less piece of cheese. i wouldn’t have notice the difference if it weren’t for McDonald’s. McDonald’s has their own called the “McDouble”.  

Can you see...

...the difference? (Not the background either)

     This bother’s me. That a whole new name and burger would be created just to take less from customers. McDonald’s had the one dollar double cheeseburger and subtly replaced it with the Mcdouble, then gave it it’s own ad campaign later on. Burger King is following suit these months later. I personally don’t like that they gave a burger with one less piece of cheese it’s own name and identity and an ad campaign, to sell more and give less for it. It’s identical for one less piece of cheese. Does that constitute a separate burger? I don’t like it personally.

     Burger King played it smarter, marketing-wise. They had a long campaign about the double cheeseburger and how it was a quarter-pounder and such. Raising the attention to this burger and got me, personally, on the bandwagon. I knew it was too good to be true, and i knew would end soon. That day has come and now the double cheeseburger is 1.29. Subway, my favorite fast food place(Does it count as a fast food joint, since it’s semi-healthy?), also did a cheap tactic similar to burger king’s. This made me a little mad also. They had around eight 5 dollar footlongs, and then during the superbowl season they announced a 5-dollar footlong ad campaign where all regular footlongs were 5 dollars; and again, I knew this wouldn’t last long. When they recently stopped the campign, i was surprised to find my favorite 5 dollar footlongs were more, and the list of 5 dollar footlongs were down to about four.

     I don’t know if it’s just me, but that one piece of cheese does a lot for me in terms of flavor. And just knowing I’ve been shorted makes me less want to buy it and like it. McDonald’s McDouble is also 1.29. I don’t think a piece of cheese is worth 29 cents.

      One thing my brother pointed out a while ago, is that fast food joints have scrapped the name “dollar menu”. Now they use the term “Value menu”. This doesn’t sound like much difference, and sounds interchangable, but it really is just a broader term that gives the businesses a way to not be held down to just a dollar  and still claim that a product is cheap. Next time you enter a fast food joint, try to see the subtle differences.

     I did in the past do the math behind the price differences and value burgers, but that was a while ago. I hope you like math, my next post will have the math on it. Comment if you still see these rare places that still have “dollar menus”.

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