Monday, October 10, 2011

The Chicken McNugget or the Egg McMuffin?

     Here is the question of the day, Company: Does McDonald's really have to advertise?
     I have been wondering that as I watch one of their many commercials on my TV, and I have found myself going round and round in my head.  See, I have figured out that it is a sort of a "chicken and the egg" type situation that I just can't figure out.  Please allow me to try and explain.
McDonald's is so big it blocks out the sun.  That is their new slogan.
     I am not sure if the popularity drives the advertising or if the advertising drives the popularity.  At one point I understood, but these days there is a McDonald's Restaurant in just about every town.  Hell, I live in a town of 1500 and there is one here.  We have two of them on opposite ends of the Worldwide Headquarters.  There are even McDonalds' at freeway intersections in the middle of freaking nowhere - lots of them in gas stations or standing alone at crossroads because the kids in the back just can't make it to the next exit.
     So why the advertising then?  They are all over and unless someone was born under a rock or maybe lived deep in the Canadian Arctic they have heard of McDonald's.  I suppose that is a function of the advertising - golden arches are on every type of media known to man - including I am sure a banner being towed by a biplane.  Is that why they are so popular?  Are the kids indoctrinated by seeing all the advertisements and the signs and the whole thing?  I think so.  I believe it.  But I think it also functions the other way as well.
Thanks, I couldn't figure that out myself.
     I think that part of the advertising is that it has to work as a conduit from the restaurant to its patrons.  Mom and Pop's Diner down the street can write in chalk on the board inside the front door that they now offer pecan pie, but when a chain as large as Clown's (as Little Jeffy calls it) they can't simply do that.  That is where the commercials come in.  So we know that they had the brilliant idea of putting bacon on a double cheeseburger.  Or that they have a new salad that sounds like they just put a bunch of foods together, for instance the Bacon Cranberry Potato Torte Salad available for a limited time.  I mean, shit, without the ads we would never know when the McRib is back.
     I suppose when we actually sit back and look at things it is foolish to think that the sucess is not driven by the advertising.  I mean, everyone knows about it but that is because we see the ads every day of our lives.  Because we see the signs in every town, on every road, at all the intersections.  Because children still love little plastic toys that look like Disney characters.  For all those reasons and more is why they are all over.  That is just how it is.  But it is interesting to think about how it all goes around.  Which came first, the fame or the advertising?  The chicken or the egg?  Or should we say the Chicken McNugget or the Egg McMuffin?

No comments: