Jun 20, 2012 / 5:00 am
In physics, a quantum is the minimum amount of any physical entity involved in an interaction. Now, far be from me to act like the meaning of that statement is either self-evident or even slightly easy to grasp because my personal understanding of physics could fit quite neatly inscribed on the head of a pin. Hold it, I will go further still. The very fact that I am using a physics reference of any kind is grounds for immediate literary censure due to my ill-advised (and horrifically realized) attempt at grasping the basics of the subject back in high school. I think I was the first student the teacher ever told to stop trying. But somehow - somehow, in this case (and most likely this case alone) quantum actually seems to make some sense to me.
You see, I have an irrational love for all things McDonald’s. Now I am sure this Eros started early – some opportune treat provided at exactly the right moment by mom and dad that permanently seared itself deep-fryer deep within my developing psyche. And such early implantation obviously means my McDonalphilia defies all logic, discussion and dissension of any kind. I even worked there for Hamburgler’s sake – not on the grill, but as a host (I did birthday parties and tours – really - ask me anything, I kept a scrapbook). Slag a hamburger they offer, suggest a Chicken nugget contains anything other than the finest fowl or complain that a fry could somehow be made better and I tense up, ready to argue the case on their behalf. Clearly, my ingestion of their doctrine is complete, but even as I am aware of my inability at objectivity it also makes me crave dissenting information. You see I drank the kool-aid but I did do it willingly, which means that as a self-interred prisoner of the golden arches I am always curious to see if anyone can somehow break me free of this ever so delicious, calorific cell.
Morgan Spurlock tried, with his shocking weight gain and frighteningly disgusting health results. But he really stumbled in that he did little more than consume 5000 calories per day. McDonald’s all day, every day is no great idea but c’mon, 5000 cals per day of carrot juice would do bizarre things to you too. But more than him. These last ten years the whole world seems to have turned against McDonald’s for doing what they do. Their food is called bad, their sizes too big and their calories too attractive. Worse still, they have run amok on the planet, homogenizing everything until every culture gives in and says “do you want fries with that?” And this is what I see as the quantum.
The McDonald’s Quantum suggests that the brand McDonald’s in its most minimum amount of interaction has enveloped the world in totality. And it has truly wrapped the globe in a (now) bio-degradable form that completely covers us all. Their newest ad confirms it.
The commercial is simplicity itself. A man wanders the planet, speaking only with those who do not share his own English language, trying to communicate with them in only a single word. Is it hello? Is it help? Is it Snooki? No, it’s McDonald’s, and the near instant recognition their many faces provide is as lovely as it is surprising.
Now, depending on how you view McDonald’s ultimately colors how you see this ad. If you view Mickey D’s as the single greatest gastronomical blight the planet Earth has ever seen you’re going to shake your head in hatred, convinced that the evil ringleader Ronald McDonald has truly ensnared all races, colors and creeds in his fatty, world-dominating grease trap. Kill culture, ruin local food by making it all the same. Eliminate diversity!
Or you will see living proof of the most brilliant food preparation and delivery services the world has ever seen. McDonald’s has created (and regularly provided) a quality of food so trusted and so well-known that they have literally fed and affected billions of people. That they can feed people cheaper than the United Nations can (and with better quality controls) while still making a profit is unbelievable. Even the fact that their food is tagged as contributing to obesity is actually a badge of honor. Think about it – in less than two generations we now have so much cheap food (at least in North America) that obesity has displaced the starvation that was once rampant. Being fat ain’t so great but if I had to choose between that and actual starvation you can break out my buffet pants anytime.
The McDonald’s Quantum has changed our world. And while we are free to debate its real legacy we cannot ever deny its massive, generational impact. Yeah, I’m biased, but I also simply like what they do. The very fact that so many can eat so much for so little is something all business should be striving for. It won’t come without problems, of course, but it is this sort of problem that begets the success that will someday, once and for all, finally unite and feed the world. Is that too crazy to believe? Not if the mechanics of my McDonald’s Quantum make sense it sure isn’t.
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