Would You Like a Multinational Conglomerate With That?

With cable TV come the ads. They are insidious, annoying, and often appear to assume I have the IQ of flypaper.

Today’s pet hate is the McDonald’s ad about Egg McMuffins. You know, there’s the little piano ditty and people keep seeing other people eating Egg McMuffins so they go get them? The one where the last scene is the fabulous vista over some remote European village and hills (Tuscany? Provence?). The McAdExecs want me to think, “Oh, look. Egg McMuffins unite humanity in happiness and satiety. How fab. I think I’ll eat one.”

Do I think this? I do not. This ad rouses my inner Angry Pinko. First of all, I do not believe that humanity can be happily united by an overprocessed breakfast product. North Americans, maybe I could believe it, but I know a lot of people who won’t eat McDonald’s food. But you’re in a tiny town in the South of France or the rolling hills of Tuscany and you eschew local bakeries, cheeses and produce in favour of an Egg McMuffin? No fricking way. If you find yourself in Provence, eating McRalph’s, you don’t deserve to be there.

Second, the people in the ad bug me. They’re predominantly slender. McDonald’s food will not keep you slender. It will bloat you like an ocean-borne corpse. Whether you bought into Supersize Me or not, you have to admit Mickey Dee’s packs a caloric, sodium-and-sugar-laden punch.

The actors all look middle-income as well. McDicks is misrepresenting their demographic. I think of my brother telling me that, in impoverished West Philadelphia where he lives, people eat MacDonald’s three times a day. They know nothing of nutrition. The cycle of poverty keeps them eating crap. These are people who can only dream of being middle-income earners.

Here’s what’s missing from the ad: Displaced, bewildered Amazon Rainforest tribespeople, poking the McMuffins in an attempt to find out what they are. In the background: Bulldozers knocking down the rainforest so that farming corporations can raise beef for more Big Macs.

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