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I already hated McDonald's...

and then I saw a McD's commercial this morning with the tag line "Leave breakfast to the professionals." It showed people dropping pancakes and spraying cereal all over the kitchen in their inept attempts to fix breakfast. The message was, You can't cook, you can't even open a box of cereal. You'd better just eat at McDonald's. Ughhh.

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  1. I haven't seen this ad, but it sounds pretty typical. The part I have a tough time with is "professionals", surely there is a good case for false advertising here? I don't think they know the meaning of the word.

    1 Reply
    1. re: giveittomikey

      A professional is nothing more than someone who is paid to do what they do. Since the people at McDonald's get a wage for showing up, they are hence professionals.

    2. Even Charlie Brown could open a box of cereal. And make toast and popcorn.
      I remember at least two fast food campaigns where the advertisement made the chain seem to be the end all of something, Burger King proclaimed themselves the kings of chicken sandwiches, and KFC had their inane Kitchen Fresh Chicken campaign. Both thankfully did not last long.

      1. To hate them wold require effort on my part. I ignore them.

        1 Reply
        1. I have not seen the commercial, but I would be willing to bet it was done "tongue-in-cheek". Some rather rabid responses IMO. Everything McD's does must be evil/subversive because you know..they are evil and everything that is wrong with america. (note..tongue-in-cheek)

          11 Replies
          1. re: rochfood

            Sure the execution is tongue in cheek, but the message is still the same: trying to convince Americans that preparing food is some arcane process they shouldn't even attempt. Sadly, many Americans already believe this, which makes it a lot less funny.

            The power of advertising is that it defines societal norms for people who are striving to achieve them: the poor, immigrants, etc. They then internalize it: "normal" Americans don't cook, so if you aspire to be a "normal" American, neither will you! I've seen this process among inner-city kids: kids that I knew for a fact ate all kinds of foods at home would refuse to eat anything but fast food when out in a group, because eating foods advertised on television was in their eyes a way to be assimilated into mainstream America.

            If all you know about mainstream America is what you see on television, then your ideas about how mainstream Americans eat are going to be based on foods advertised on television: fast food, convenience food, snack foods, soft drinks, etc. Basically, those foods become aspirational for people in poor and immigrant communities, which is one reason they buy them to the exclusion of healthier foods. They can't afford the rest of the mainstream lifestyle, but they can afford McDonalds.

            1. re: Ruth Lafler

              I respectfully disagree. I don't see them trying to convince people that cooking is something they shouldn't attempt. Rather, they are saying it's o.k. that you aren't kitchen savvy and McD is an alternative. A huge percentage of people can't be bothered to learn to cook and the company is simply saying... hey, here's an option.

              It's a lot less devious than implying they can do it cheaper or healthier. McD isn't trying to turn a home cook into a non-cook, they are simply trying to appeal to the non-cooks to begin with. Heck, it sometimes appeals to me. I can cook well and create a 12 item breakfast that could feed 20 people, or simply whip up a fried egg on toast. But a McMuffin from time to time isn't bad. I like having the options.

              McD is simply reflecting the market back at them. If anyone should bare the wrath, it would be the eating public who couldn't be bothered to know their options or learn some basics. I've got friends with $100 Thousand kitchens that have never been used, except to warm take-out. They aren't lazy or uneducated people, but maybe lazy or uneducated when it comes to cooking.

              1. re: tastyjon

                Modern American capitalist society is reminding me more and more of Aldous Huxley's Brave New World. All the Deltas are being programed by the Alphas into box store and house chain restaurant automatons. Buy, buy buy cheap, cheap, cheap, with a down-grading of American society, community and culture. We produce more Deltas and fewer Alphas and our widening divide between the rich and poor reflect this. What is the Spanish word for advertisement? Propaganda. Boy, am I bleak this morning!
                Pass-a-big-dumb-keg.

                1. re: tastyjon

                  I can't speak to the malevolence of the original of MickeyD's corporate strategy. I do know that whatever it was, they really didn't hurt their brains too much thinking about unintended results. While they may be thinking about herding in the non-cooks, they have also anesthetized the majority of the public and placed the idea in the minds of everyone that 1) Its cheaper to eat out, 2) That breakfast just isn't something worthy of spending time on during the work week. Regardless of intention, the results are less than benevolent for our society.

                  1. re: Phaedrus

                    True, Phaedrus. But not as much as Skittles has harmed its image with their recent spate of commercials.

                    If you think back, Ronald McDonald was never a real reason for me to get a Big Mac, which I do admit to enjoying once every five years (only because of my diet, scratch that, lifestyle change).

                    1. re: dolores

                      And when I'm on the road, with the dog, McDonald's is my drive through of choice. A Quarter Pounder for me and a small water for the dog. The suprising thing has been to find out that quite a few of them have free dog biscuits for the dog!

                      1. re: cowlbelle

                        Free biscuits for the dog? That's surprisingly generous. Do you know around where these McD's are?

                        1. re: allie_in_wonderland

                          There are at least two of them along I-70 between Lawrence KS and St. Louis. I don't think these are "official" McD's treats - No grinning clown face or giant "M" stamped on them (I think they were standard Milk Bone's).

                    2. re: Phaedrus

                      I think you're giving MickeyD's way too much credit, or blame.

                      1. re: gloriousfood

                        I didn't say that they planned it in a pique of malevolence. I said it was an UNINTENDED result.

                        1. re: Phaedrus

                          Aren't they accomplishing their purpose by getting us to talk about them???

              2. I hate so many ad campaigns, most do their best to insult most people's intelligence, come on "kitchen fresh chicken" what the heck does that mean? unless it is prepared in the restroom or a closet of course it is kitchen fresh!

                1. I love TV add campaigns in the US--especially the major corporate efforts.

                  For the last 30 years I've had to put up with the (US) 50's dawn-of-television type adds in developing countries.

                  We did get to see the Super Bowl; but it was much more difficult (and asd important) downloading the adverts!

                  1. Check out Mc duck's 70's commercials on youtube, pretty weird

                    1. homer simpson couldnt operate cereal :D

                      1. Here's what I don't get. We are in a recession. Money is tight. Eating at McDonald's is more expensive than eating at home. And we know that the kind of food served at McDonald's is not healthy. So why is it that every morning, dozens and dozens of cars are pulling into the local McDonald's for breakfast, when it costs a lot more than eating at home. Yes, that box of cereal is now $5.00 and a gallon of milk is over $3.00 and a gallon of orange juice is $6.00 - but that's breakfast for at least a week. And healthier (assuming you don't choose a cereal that is full of sugar).

                        7 Replies
                        1. re: Just Visiting

                          It's advertising. Of course they want to imply that stopping by McD's is easier than the footwork required to make breakfast for the family. It probably is.

                          Every other business does it---not out of good will for prospective customers, but to shine the best (or most entertaining) light on their product. What McDonald's is doing, adwise, is fine, IMO!

                          1. re: wittlejosh

                            Its the convenience. People are willing to pay more, even in this day and age, for someone else to cook their breakfast for them. I personally don't get it, but there are people who would rather squeeze the last second of sleep into the morning and pay to get breakfast. I also couldn't deal with that kind of food on a daily basis, but some people can, and are willing to pay for the privilege.

                            1. re: wittlejosh

                              Agreed. I find it amusing, actually. Mostly because I actually know people who are pretty darned close to those depicted in the commercial.

                            2. re: Just Visiting

                              The people that are eating at McDonalds aren't getting cereal, so to cook at home they'd have to get eggs, bacon, cheese, english muffins, coffee, milk, sugar, 2 pans, time to cook, eat, clean up. Its not quite as simple as you make it out to be. Plus the fact that many people dont care that McDonald's is unhealthier than having a yogurt. And I'm also completely disagree that eating at McDonald's is more expensive than eating at home. Apples to apples (i.e., egg mcmuffin, hash brown and coffee can't compare to one bowl of cereal), fast food is going to be cheaper (and easier) than eating at home or at least not negligably more expensive. Thats why they are so omnipresent in lower income neighborhoods.

                              1. re: ESNY

                                It is hard to change cultural and lifestyle habits. When I was young we fried bacon or sausage, then we cooked our eggs in that grease. My mom ate sugar coated lard on biscuits.
                                A big difference is (today) very effective advertising constantly drums these "hip lifestyle" attitudes into kids: You're in a rush, you gotta eat fast, play fast and you gotta keep movin'. They don't think about their health, sustainability, the environment or anything but quick, momentary satisfaction.

                                1. re: ESNY

                                  I first posted this in "chains" and there weren't a lot of responses. I'm glad it was moved over here.

                                  ESNY, you're right that fast food is often cheaper than cooking at home. I happen to be rapidly anti-fast food. I spend a lot of money on expensive groceries that I cook myself. I get a lot of pleasure out of cooking, Not everyone does, I know. Some people find that breakfast on the run fits their lives. I'll never be one of those. We're all different. But like Ruth Lafler, I find it sad that so many Americans seem to think that cooking is difficult or boring. And I hate to see an advertising campaign designed to reinforce that attitude.

                                  1. re: NYCkaren

                                    I love cooking but it is definitely too time consuming for me 90% of the time (especially in the morning), although I think your rabid anti-fast foodness is coloring your thoughts on the commercial. I dont think many people are watching a McD's commercial thinking to themselves "See, I thought cooking was tough and McDonald's is telling me that, so it must be true... I am so done cooking".

                              2. Wasn't that amazing, NYCkaren? Do you think there are any out there like the people in the commercial?

                                If they are, they deserve McDonalds.

                                And no, I don't think it was tongue in cheek. Sadly, I have never seen a clever enough commercial that would qualify as tongue in cheek. Now, Skittles is another story altogether!

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: dolores

                                  I think McD's is taking a page from the Hardee's ads. The not-at-all subtle message of many of their ads is that their target audience (young males whose brains clearly reside somewhere south of their belt buckles) couldn't figure out how to open a box of cereal or undo the twist tie on a loaf of bread if their lives depended on it. So come ot Hardee's and you won't have to worry about cleaning up the mess you made trying unsuccessfully to feed yourself.

                                  I figure if that's the kind of customer Hardee's wants, they're welcome to them. And I'll find someplace else to eat out when the mood strikes me.

                                2. Man, this is putting me in the mood for a McSkillet burrito. Yummy.

                                  1. People can be lazy. Look at the long lines of people in the morning picking up their coffee, whether it's at Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, McD's or the corner bodega. It's so easy and a lot cheaper and tastier to make your coffee a home. And with some of these lines, it's much quicker to make it at home.

                                    4 Replies
                                    1. re: Miss Needle

                                      Live and let live. I go to Starbucks every am because I choose to and because I'd rather not have to jostle a mug of coffee on the subway. And it DOES taste good to me.

                                      I wouldn't call it lazy. It's called choice. There's way too much hating on chains on CH and by way, calling their patrons stupid & lazy.

                                      1. re: moymoy

                                        Before making the assumption that I'm calling everybody who goes to a chain lazy and stupid, I would suggest you actually read what I say as I said that they CAN be lazy. I think you're taking my statement WAY out of context. I used to have to leave my apartment at 5:40A after coming home from work at 11P every night). I purchased my coffee at the bodega every morning. Whether you call it lazy, or not having enough time or having me like the taste of bodega coffee, that's what I did. All I'm saying is that there are a lot of people who buy their morning coffee (like they'll buy their breakfast from McD's) out of sheer lazineess. Sheez! I'm not branding everybody who does that as being lazy.

                                      2. re: Miss Needle

                                        I'm not an anthropologist or a psychologist, but it may be much more than laziness. I don't get going to Starbucks or McD' but perhaps it is the routine and the interaction with the same people each day that makes it desirable; particularly for younger people.
                                        I have my routine of making coffee, breakfast and taking the dog out to get the paper, etc., but I'm not usually interacting with other people. Some need interaction, belonging and routine.

                                        I hate lines but look how much we put up with them. Sometimes we're lucky and can wait in the bar....

                                        1. re: Scargod

                                          I used to work directly across the street from a locally owned, independently operated coffee shop. I got to know the owner, the barista's, the other customers. They knew me (and would let me run a tab!) and I knew them. Yep, I could take that extra 5 minutes at home to grind beans and brew a cup of coffee cheaper, but without the companionship it just wasn't as good.

                                      3. I see so many commercials with incompetant people like that and I think: I'm not that stupid/lazy/incompetant -- obviously I don't need their product!"

                                        1. KFC's new "slogan" here in Aus is "A cook in EVERY store!!!".

                                          Makes me laff... I am glad my popcorn chicken isn't cooked by the man who cleans the loo!

                                          (TIC about even pretending I'd eat popcorn chickenm BTW!)

                                          1 Reply
                                          1. re: purple goddess

                                            Just out of curiousity, who does clean you loo? I do both.

                                          2. If you have trouble opening a box of cereal you have bigger issues that deciding weather to go to McDonald's or not.

                                            1. The concept for the commercial reminds me of those infomercials for the spaghetti pot/colander combination or that pancake cooking thing. Cooks without these gadgets spill their pasta and the pancake batter all over the kitchen withoug these gadgets. "But wait. There's more!"

                                              1. Watch only public television or Netflex and avoid the commercials.

                                                1. I just saw this ridiculous commercial this morning, while eating a nice breakfast that I somehow managed to prepare from scratch in under 30 minutes without starting a fire or burning my toast. I must be some kind of culinary genius.

                                                  The implication that somehow a McDonald's is more qualified to cook for you than you are for yourself is abhorrent. It seems to me that prepared food companies have gone to great lengths to convince people that cooking is some kind of art form that is impossible for a normal person to do, I've just never seen it stated so plainly (or ridiculously) as in this commercial.

                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Buckethead

                                                    If you think this commercial is bad, while watching tv last night, I caught a Burger King ad, and usually hubby and I chat about our day, but we watched.

                                                    Burger Kind is actually selling sliced apples (shaped like french fries!), and mac and cheese. The first thing that occured to me was "oh good, a fruit option for people that eat there" and than I came to my brainwashed senses.

                                                    They are charging people for cutting up an apple in the shape of french fries.

                                                    And more than likely, nuking macaroni and cheese. And not even 'homemade' mac and cheese. Kraft.

                                                    I'm a little shocked. People must be paying for it.

                                                    I will admit I keep mac in the house, for when I am very ill. I have muscular dystrophy, and I can't always cook our slow food lifestyle as I would wish. But we no longer even own a microwave.